Film Review: ‘The Emoji Movie’ is decadent and depraved


There’s a pretty heavy consensus that it’s really hard to write persuasively and compellingly about the things you love deeply and madly. You know the ones: The songs that really connected with you on an emotional and personal level, the books that kept you invested from page one all the way through the author’s page at the end, the movies that made you laugh or cry or whatever else. So, it’s like a gift from the critical gods when a tremendous piece of shit like The Emoji Movie comes along, and we’re all full of dumb shit to say.

We watch the Rotten Tomatoes scores fall, we see single-digit metacritic scores from the people who actually matter in our industry, and we start prepping. There’s nothing better, nothing easier, than to dunk on a loser of a movie like this one, where we get to stick it to the people in power who forced us to sit through this motherfucker, who thought it was a good idea to make a movie about a dumb-ass little Meh emoji (TJ Miller) trying to make his way through the world and not get his ass killed for having different feelings, and who thought it was an even better idea to give him a vain sidekick voiced by James Corden. We get our outrage and indignation ready, we try to find a decent amount of witty barbs to toss its way, and all take to the stage, right and willing to throw down with an inanimate thing that will flop hard like a fish anyways.

Basically it’s the slam-dunk contest out here, though anybody can get their hands on the hyperbolic rock in this case, and I kind of originally wanted to write a Madlibs-style review for this movie (“insert sign o’ the times Trump reference here”). There’s more creativity on display by critics trying to figure out a way to rock this motherfucker to its core than in the film itself, and it’s a lot of fun to read and watch people try to parse this stuff. And sure, it deserves it in every single possible way.


The Emoji Movie is a garbage movie, one resolutely devoted to the constant fellation of its sponsors, and one full of the nonsense ephemera that will totally fade away within 10 years including but not limited to the various tech companies displayed throughout, TJ Miller’s career, and the little ugly yellow blobs themselves. It’s barely 80 minutes long, and it’s most definitely one of the biggest fiascos I’ve seen since The Master of Disguise when it comes to misunderstanding the desires whatever audience will line up to see this movie. I can bet you that a good 40 percent of viewers are ironic shitheads like myself, who are looking for memeworthy validation from their peers and are going to this like roided-out assholes go to Spartan races, with a grim sense of dissatisfaction and hope that it’ll at least prove to be moderately entertaining in some sort of way.

It won’t.
The Emoji Movie is:
The Lego Movie stripped of its creativity,
Inside Out rendered cold and unfeeling,


the apotheosis of good children’s cinema,
an affront to those who hate product placement
and an excellent click-parade if you write about movies and are willing to sit through it.

Seriously, why on Earth would you go and see this? Why do you need me to tell you not to see this? Do you have children? Take them to see Spider-Man or Captain Underpants or something?

It’s notable to say that not a single child laughed at any of the jokes in this movie, unless you count the little Hotel Transylvania short beforehand in the runtime (which the studio most definitely does), which proved moderately cute enough to elicit a smile from the hardened ironists like myself. Do you like bad, boring movies? Well, see if you can take a road trip to the one theater in the US that’s still showing The Book of Henry and enjoy it. You can at least laugh at that, and admire its offensive wrong-headedness.


Hell, you can get the Scream! Factory edition of The Garbage Pail Kids Movie and watch something truly nauseating if you really want to see it. At least you’ll feel something real! Just don’t waste your time with this! Don’t even waste your time reading reviews of this Dumpster fire. You could be doing so much more with your life. You have people who love you, don’t you? Tell them you love them. Fight against the darkness and the rage here, please. Hey, even if you’re the most unlikeable dude reading this article right now, you probably have a hamster or something! Give it a carrot! That’s real! The Emoji Movie is not real!

Featured ‘The Emoji Movie’ via screengrab. Follow Nick Johnston on Twitter @onlysaysficus.