Blame Netflix. Oh, sure, I’ve had vast numbers of people DEMAND that I review this cinematic catastrophe, but since I wasn’t ever going to spend any money on seeing it, I could plausibly wave off. “Nope, sorry. I’m too busy, it’s too expensive, and my astrologer says ‘no can do’.” Then Netflix went and put it up on their streaming service, apparently paying Sony money for the privilege (WHY FOR THE LOVE OF PETE WHY?), and all my excuses evaporated.
I had to watch it. And a little part of me died inside, just knowing that.
So I watched it. And now I must review it.
LET’S DO THIS THING.
(Quick Note: I was tempted, in this review, to pepper the text with an interminable string of emojis, you know, for the topicality. Sanity soon prevailed, as I realized how annoying, gimmicky, and cutesy that would be. I may be many things—an imposing intelligence, an inveterate opponent of Internet totalitarians, a fabulously skilled wordsmith, and one SEXY, SEXY beast—but I am not “cutesy”. Thus, I have allowed one—AND PRECISELY ONE—use of an emoji in this essay. BACK TO THE REVIEW!)
The Emoji Movie is the 💩-iest Tron ripoff ever.
But not just Tron. It also rips off Wreck-It Ralph and Toy Story and, depending on how closely you track the cliches in the script, probably most of the rest of TV Tropes.
Of course, tracking the cliches in the script is a terrible idea, because watching this movie more than once could legit drive you insane. This movie is The King in Yellow for the Internet Age. It has been cursed by the Elder Gods to bring pain and misery wherever it is watched.
(Which is why its domestic gross of more than $86 million is so disturbing: so many people saw the thing. VOLUNTARILY. Paying MONEY for the privilege. And suffering who knows what kind of mental trauma as a result. All that mental and emotional damage will materialize eventually, and it’ll be a defining moment in the history of the human race when it does. I’m picturing a cross between Asimov’s Nightfall and the final Resident Evil movie. With maybe just a touch of “Benny Hill” on the side.)
I mean, yes, this movie is bad. That was expected. But what was completely unexpected is that it was bad in a way that I hadn’t previously experienced badness before. More than just merely terrible, it was brutal. The movie is like a slow pummeling from a sweaty fat guy with extreme acne and heavy B.O.: it’s not just that the blows kept coming, it’s that the guy doing it was ALSO ugly and reeking.
THIS IS NOT A JOKE. I’m not kidding. The jokes were so bad, and came so quickly and so often, I could literally feel the impact in my body. This actually literally happened.
I’ve had movies induce pain before. I’ve never had a movie punch me in the chest before. (It felt a little like getting hit with a tennis ball served by a high school age State Champion tennis player.)
The three “see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil” monkey emojis, dressed in suits and carrying briefcases, are talking with the main character (Gene). The monkeys say to Gene: “Well, we have business to attend to.”
Gene: “What kind of business?”
Monkeys: “Monkey business.”
Monkey business. Every thirty seconds to a minute, another joke just like that.
Gene looks at the clock emoji, to check the time. Clock: “Hey, my eyes are up here!”
“My eyes are up here.” From a clock.
One emoji says to Poop emoji (seen above): “You’re such a softie!” Poop: “Not too soft, I hope.”
NOT. TOO. SOFT. I. HOPE.
The Poop emoji, BTW, is voiced by Sir Patrick Stewart. Shakespearian actor. Professor X. Captain Jean Luc Picard. MAKING POOP JOKES. So many poop jokes.
This movie is offensively bad. I mean that not in the sense that the contents of its humor or its lack of quality offends, but that it is ON THE OFFENSIVE, like an army of dozens of individual bad things, all arrayed in ranks, invading your brain en masse. This movie is the blitzkrieg of badness, the Sherman’s March to the Sea of awfulness, the Siege of Stalingrad of cinematic atrociousness.
It’s. Not. Good.
But we knew that already. We knew it wasn’t going to be good, from the very minute the news leaked that Sony had paid good money to license emojis to make a movie of them. For some damn reason. It was so obviously going to be a disaster, that no one was surprised when it turned out to be just that: a disaster. Worse than the Hindenberg. Worse than the Titanic. Worse than Pixels. And that’s the bottom line.
Are there lots more details I could include in this review? Sure. There’s the nonsensical plot, the incessant product placement (Candy Crush! Just Dance! Crackle! Dropbox! Twitter!), two full video game tutorials, the firewall literally setting Gene on fire again and again… Yes, I could include more details, but I won’t.
I watched this movie. Don’t make me relive it in the review. I’ve suffered enough.
There is no reason to watch this movie. It isn’t funny. It isn’t even ironically funny, like the bad movies Red Letter Media likes to torture themselves with. It isn’t even funny, but only for kids, like Yo Gabba Gabba! This movie is fun for no one.
At one point the main villain calls Gene a malfunction, and suggests that his mistakes will get the whole phone deleted, killing off all the emojis (and everyone else inhabiting the phone).
Well, that’s just what this movie is: a malfunction. It’s time to delete it, so no one else has to suffer.
Iä! Iä! Cthulhu fhtagn!