Sad face

It’s a film about emoji, and it’s rub­bish of course

NME - - FRONT PAGE -

the emoji movie

U Anna Faris, T.J. Miller, James Cor­den

★ Hol­ly­wood stu­dios make films for the money. it would be sweetly naïve to think any dif­fer­ent, but there’s usu­ally a de­gree of cre­ative am­bi­tion in them. you can want to make money at the same time as want­ing to tell a great story. How­ever, at no point in l-r: Fried shrimp and Gene The Emoji Movie is there the sense that any­body felt this was a tale worth telling for any rea­son but cash. it strains its way into ex­is­tence, joy­lessly and il­log­i­cally limp­ing on un­til it reaches 87 min­utes.

Emoji of­fer no story of their own be­cause they’re just tiny phone pic­tures, so one is heaved into be­ing. in­side your phone is a place called tex­topo­lis, where the emoji live. while most can just go about do­ing as they please – be­ing a crown, pig, half an av­o­cado, or of course, cheer­ful poop

– the face emoji must al­ways main­tain the mood they’ve been as­signed, e.g. happy, sad, sweaty, hor­ri­fied cat, so that their ex­pres­sions can be scanned any time the phone’s user sends a text. why? Ex­cel­lent ques­tion. No an­swer.

Gene (t.j. Miller), our hero, is des­tined to al­ways be ‘meh’. He l-r: Jail­break, Gene, Hi-5 and Poop doesn’t want to be ‘meh’. He wants to ex­press the full range of feel­ings, but this dis­rupts the scan­ning process. His dele­tion is or­dered, forc­ing him on the run with a hand (James Cor­den) and a hacker (Anna Faris) who can… do com­puter things that might save Gene. For some­thing so sup­pos­edly breezy, it’s ex­haust­ing try­ing to make sense of it.

the voice cast is en­thu­si­as­tic but the ma­te­rial is woe­ful. Not only is the ad­ven­ture un­funny and bor­ing, it’s a cyn­i­cal, undis­guised ad for phone apps. For no rea­son, the char­ac­ters romp through Candy Crush, youtube, spo­tify, Just dance and drop­box, point­ing out their ex­cel­lent fea­tures. it’s hideously ve­nal. you may as well just watch an hour and a half of pre-roll ads. At least you wouldn’t be charged for the priv­i­lege. Olly Richards

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