The tsunami of negative pre-publicity that The Emoji Movie swept in on wasn’t entirely unjustified. The plot is pants, the animation ordinary. And there’s something rather sad about seeing noted thespian and former starship captain Sir Patrick Stewart ‘reduced’ to voicing a poop emoji, no matter how much he was paid.
But this is no film for adults. For the kids it’s primarily aimed at, and for a very wet afternoon when there’s nowt else about, it just about passes muster. Accompanying grown-ups could consider taking sedatives or a good book. Then you won’t have to ponder a plot that’s set largely in an all-emoji world, Textopolis, and centres on Gene (Miller), a ‘meh’ emoji that can’t ‘meh’, and which seeks reprogramming to cure his malfunction and find his sole purpose in life.
Accompanied by fellow emojis Hi-Five (Corden) and hacker/princess Jailbreak ( Faris), Gene’s search for identity somehow manages to embrace blatant plugs for apps Candy Crush and Spotify, as well as flight from the mildly scary deleto-bots that want to erase him.
One word of advice. If you do go see The Emoji Movie, get there on time. The Hotel Transylvania ‘puppy’ short which precedes it in cinemas is fab, and definitely ‘smiley face’. The main feature is more ‘meh’.
Is The Emoji Movie suitable for kids? Here are our parents’ notes...
For adults, plenty. You could be in therapy for months.
For kids, there’s the deleto-bots, grab-clawed pursuit robots with triangular black bodies and glowing red eyes. And a sequence where Gene seeks to break through a phone firewall, but gets mildly zapped till he finds the right password. Both could conceivably upset more sensitive souls.
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