There aren’t enough sym­bols to prop­erly pan Emoji movie

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - STYLE - Use your think­ing face and writ­ing hand and email: jchrist­man@arkansason­ Spin Cy­cle is a smirk at pop cul­ture.You can hear Jen­nifer on Lit­tle Rock’s KURB-FM, B98.5 (B98. com), from 5:30 to 9 a.m. Mon­day through Fri­day. JEN­NIFER CHRISTMAN

I’m all Face With Tears of Joy right now.

That’s emoji speak for laugh­ing. What’s got me so tick­led? Re­views for The Emoji Movie.

Ad­mit­tedly, I haven’t seen the movie (re­lieved face). And I prob­a­bly won’t (money with wings). Still, I’m rel­ish­ing the cri­tiques more than I should (face sa­vor­ing de­li­cious food).

There’s noth­ing like a ter­ri­ble movie (an­gry face with horns) to bring out ter­rific movie writ­ing (woman danc­ing).

At one point dur­ing last week­end’s open­ing, the movie had a zero per­cent (flushed face) fa­vor­able rat­ing on movie site Rot­tenTo­ma­, with all crit­ics as­sign­ing it a “rot­ten” grade.

But then one coura­geous, or per­haps just kind, re­viewer from Com­mon Sense Me­dia gave it a “fresh,” say­ing, “Kids will def­i­nitely en­joy the col­or­ful char­ac­ters, easyto-fol­low story and potty hu­mor (‘We’re num­ber two!’ the poop emoji and his son ex­claim).” A cou­ple of others fol­lowed suit. At press time, the film was ranked at a mere 7 per­cent fresh­ness — an over­whelm­ing 93 per­cent foul­ness (nau­se­ated face).

That’s still bet­ter than a lot of movies. There’s a lengthy list of movies that have re­ceived a zero per­cent rank­ing, from Po­lice Acad­emy 4: Cit­i­zens on Pa­trol (1987) to Po­lice Acad­emy 5: As­sign­ment Mi­ami Beach (1988) to Po­lice Acad­emy 6: City Un­der Siege (1989).

Whew, at least there was never a Po­lice Acad­emy 7. No, wait there was. It was called Po­lice Acad­emy: Mis­sion to Moscow (1994), and IMDb. com states the movie with a $6.2 mil­lion bud­get brought in a mere do­mes­tic gross of $126,247. Even­tu­ally the court of pub­lic opin­ion fi­nally got this fran­chise to cease and de­sist (scales of jus­tice).

We’d bet, as with all flimsy movies, The Emoji Movie, which fea­tures the voice tal­ent of T.J. Miller, James Cor­den, Patrick Ste­wart, Maya Ru­dolph and Anna Faris, will fol­low a sim­i­lar se­quels tra­jec­tory, even if it’s Directto-DVD (weary face).

In the mean­time, let’s save our ticket, pop­corn, candy and soda cash (money-mouth face) and just en­joy some laughs — more than we’d ex­pect to get from the movie — for free (speak-no-evil mon­key).

Con­cludes John DeFore of Hol­ly­woodRe­ “If only this smart­phone-cen­tric dud, so happy to hawk real-world apps to its au­di­ence, could have done the same in its re­lease strat­egy — com­ing out via Snapchat, where it would van­ish shortly af­ter ar­rival. But even that wouldn’t be fast enough.” We in­ter­pret that as a turkey emoji.

Alissa Wilkin­son of Vox. com of­fers this per­spec­tive: “All there’s left to say is that giv­ing money to a movie like this is only go­ing to en­cour­age more like it. So please: Don’t do it. Stay home. Watch lit­er­ally any­thing else. And maybe put down your phone.” We in­ter­pret that as a facepalm­ing emoji.

Roger Moore of Rogers MovieNa­ writes, “The script’s strained overview of web memes — hash­tags, kit­ten videos and ‘Bye, Feli­cia’ — isn’t worth the 86 min­utes the movie sucks out of your cell plan, your bat­tery or your life.” We in­ter­pret that as a skull emoji.

In a re­view ti­tled “Emoji movie s**** (sad­face!),” Johnny Oleksin­ski of the New York Post writes, “Please re­store my eyes to their fac­tory set­tings. They have seen The Emoji Movie, a new ex­er­cise in soul­less brand­ing, aimed pri­mar­ily at lit­tle kids. But where an­other prod­uct-fo­cused flick, The Lego Movie, had clev­er­ness and heart, this thing is a piece of app.” We in­ter­pret that as dizzy face, ogre and dag­ger emo­jis.

But not all crit­ics are to­tally emo about The Emoji Movie.

Peter Sobczyn­ski writes for [A]t the screen­ing of The Emoji Movie I at­tended, there were plenty of kids but judg­ing by the shift­ing in seats, rustling of candy bags and the lack of laugh­ter, they did not seem to be into it at all. The Emoji Movie may be as de­press­ing of a film ex­pe­ri­ence as any­thing to come out this year but if the re­ac­tion of the kids that I saw it with is any in­di­ca­tion, there may be hope for the fu­ture af­ter all.” We in­ter­pret that as con­fetti ball, bal­loon and peo­ple with bunny ears par­ty­ing emo­jis.

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