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By Jess Fenton
10th September 2017

Animated movies take a really long time to produce. When filmmakers want to make one that’s relevant, you actually run the risk of being irrelevant (*cough* ‘Angry Birds’ *cough*) because you took too long, or it becomes “undercooked” as a film because you rushed the process. Case in point: ‘The Emoji Movie’. Emojis are not a fad, they’ve in fact evolved over time - starting out as emoticons they’re now bigger, better and there’s more of them than ever, and growing every year. My point is they don’t seem to be going anywhere. Not only have they evolved visually but communicatively as well - they’re a modern day hieroglyph - a point that is brought up in ‘The Emoji Movie’ along with emoticons. So the ideas that the filmmakers are aware of this makes it all the stranger that they’d push the release of such an underdeveloped... well, meh of a film. The irony is surely lost on these people.


Gene (T.J. Miller, ‘Deadpool’) is a “meh”, only he doesn’t feel very meh-like. In fact, he has the unique ability to be all the emoji faces. On his first day on the job his nerves get the better of him and he screws up, thereby putting all of Textopolis and the rest of the phone in danger of being deleted when their user Alex takes his phone to be fixed. It turns out Gene is a malfunction. When bots are sent out to delete Gene in order to save the rest of the emojis, he teams up with the unfavourable Hi-5 (James Corden, ‘Trolls’) and Jailbreak (Anna Faris, TV’s ‘Mom’) to escape to the cloud to fix himself and return good as new.

‘The Emoji Movie’ suffers from fatal bad timing, weak jokes and a lack of understanding of their product.

‘The Emoji Movie’ suffers from fatal bad timing, weak jokes and a lack of understanding of their product by the filmmakers - they think the eggplant is an unused emoji!! They also seem to believe that emojis are a form of communication exclusive to teenagers, and as characters they don’t look too kindly on the emojis themselves. There’s a half-arsed morality thrown in about being yourself and the value of friends, but it kind of gets lost among the product placement and tongue-in-cheek look at apps. ‘The Emoji Movie’ has three screenwriters to its credit including Mike White (‘School of Rock’). I think he and the rest of the gang were too busy patting themselves on the back for a “good” pun that they forgot to put any genuine heart, soul or even laughs into this meh-vie.

RELEASE DATE: 14/09/2017
RUN TIME: 1h 26m
CAST: T.j. Miller
James Corden
Ilana Glazer
Steven Wright
Jennifer Coolidge
Maya Rudolph
Jake T. Austin
Patrick Stewart
DIRECTOR: Anthony Leondis
WRITERS: Tony Leondis
Eric Siegel
Mike White
PRODUCER: Michelle Raimo Kouyate
SCORE: Patrick Doyle
Want more? Listen to our discussion of 'The Emoji Movie' on SWITCHCast 
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