Unfortunately I had the misfortune of taking my young children (all under 6) to see this at the weekend. In actual fact it is quite difficult to review this movie as it was devoid of pretty much everything; a plot, likeable characters, fantasy, drama, intrigue – just one of these would have been nice. Anyone familiar with the well known and respected IMDB movie review website will see that it managed just 2.1/10 from 19,000 audience votes (and many of the good reviews I suspected to be fake).
What we are left with is basically an advert that I can see many iPhone application developers must have paid top dollar for. For instance ‘Candy Crush’, ‘DropBox’ and ‘Instagram’ all should have taken top billing over the movies voice actors. This does seem to be a trend in recent times as with the poorly made Lego movies that savvy parents can see simply as a ploy to spend £179 on a toy set. The minions movie was just as bad, it felt like it was rushed out the door to capitalise on as many minion toy sales as they could (which is a shame as Despicable Me, where the minions originated was very good).
Kids movies don’t have to be dull, simple uninteresting reels of walking merchandise to flog to unsuspecting parents. I grew up in the era of great family movies such as ‘The Never Ending Story’, ‘E.T’ and ‘The Lion King’. What have today’s younger generation done to deserve such mediocrity from the entertainment industry? ‘The Emoji Movie’ does feel very thin on plot and original ideas, it has a rushed feel to it, like an unfinished product.
The movie has pulled on themes (a little too closely) from ‘Wreck It Ralph’ and ‘Inside Out’ but clumsily managed to send kids all the wrong messages instead of affirming the correct ones as these movies did. Strangely the movie’s theme does seem to be that technology is ruining children’s lives whilst at the same time managing to be one big iPhone advert. All of the children in the cinema we went to were exceptionally bored (including mine) with the droll story and unengaging characters. This is a shame as young children are easily put off experiences like trips to the cinema I they don’t enjoy it. By contrast when I recently took the children to see ‘Trolls’ they were singing, dancing and didn’t want to leave.
The best scenes in the movie were in fact the scenes when we were taken out of the phone/emoji world and taken to the high school of the phone’s user. This was done quite well but must total about 5 minutes screen time in the movie. A better way to engross young viewers and make the story more interesting would have been to set the story around ‘Alex’ the boy in high school and have the emojis playing a smaller supporting role.
In short if you or your children have an obsession with emojis and like staring at them all day you will love this. For everyone else I would advise you to do something else with your children.