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Film in review: ‘The Emoji Movie’

The Winonan’s film reporter rates this film 0/5 poop emojis

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The Winonan’s film reporter rates this film 0/5 poop emojis

Nate Nelson, Film Reporter

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In my time as a film critic, I’ve reviewed dozens of films ranging from modern masterpieces to misfires. I don’t always enjoy them, but every film typically has some semblance of value for someone out there. “The Emoji Movie” is different. There’s nothing. It goes beyond just being a bad movie and managed to make me actively sick to my stomach. If anything, the film proves that god is dead, cinema is dead, capitalism was a mistake and most importantly, The Winonan’s editing staff is a group of sadistic monsters who only want their critics to suffer.

“The Emoji Movie” is a 90-minute exercise in banality and cinematic torture, based around the always intriguing theme of “being yourself.” Set in a smartphone, the film follows a meh emoji, voiced by T.J. Miller, who has a tough time being meh. Apparently, it’s against the rules of the fascist phone overlords for any emoji to feel any emotion other than what they were raised to be, and due to meh’s magical ability of being able to emote, he’s sentenced to death. Of course, instead of trying to change society or make it so he can fit in, he chooses to go on a journey through the phone accompanied by a disembodied hand and a walking misogynist trope to try and fix himself by hacking the emotions right out of him.

If that sounds entertaining to you, then honestly, you might need a therapy session or two. There isn’t a single moment in the film that feels developed in any sense of the word. In fact, the film makes sure to squash any semblance of sanity or developed characters by devolving to non

sensical tropes, poop jokes and veiled backwards commentary on a hyper modern civilization. It’s like Pixar’s “Inside Out,” except it’s the cheap knock off you’d find in the two dollar movie bin during a blockbuster close out.

Throughout the film, the trio of haphazard heroes travels through a multitude of *gorgeous* and *inventive* locales like Spotify, Candy Crush and Dropbox. If you thought product placement was bad before, the film proves that there is no such thing as reaching too low.

“Advertising? Nah, let’s just base the whole film around commercialism. That will get the kids excited,” the director said, probably.

Turns out, they weren’t entirely wrong. If the screams and cries of five-year-old movie goers during my screening were any indication, Sony succeeded in getting the young folks riled up.

What’s particularly frightening about the film is that, despite having a production time of three years, nobody came out and said, “Dude, this is an awful idea.” They had to have gone through multiple scripts, casting, production, years of animation and promotion, and yet still nobody came out and just admitted that the entire project is a waste of time.

Sony spent $50 million to get this film off the ground and honestly that money would be better suited to burning (even with the accompanying jail time) than making a film this completely misguided. It’ll make money, yes, but that’s only because kids movies will never not turn a profit. Even so, parents should realize that just because something is branded as a kids movie doesn’t mean it’s actually for kids. In reality, the only difference between “The Emoji Movie” and something like “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre” is the former will likely scar children for life.

I will admit, however, that “The Emoji Movie,” will be discussed and analyzed for decades to come. The film is simultaneously a harbinger of the apocalypse, a monument to commercialism and a turning point for cinema toward the medium’s twilight years. It’s a perfect torture tool for families to punish their children or editors to punish their writers (this is about me missing the first budget meeting, isn’t it, Liv). In the end, “The Emoji Movie” was an unforgettable experience. In fact, it may end up causing me to give up cinema forever, or at least until my eyes stop bleeding.  0/5

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The Winona State University Student Newspaper
Film in review: ‘The Emoji Movie’