Emoji Movie: It’s ‘meh’

September 18, 2017 — by Austin Wang and Alex Yang

The Emoji Movie made $171 million on a $50 million budget.

For the last 10 years, it’s quite unbelievable how far animation and CGI technology has advanced in the film industry.

Unfortunately, the newly released “The Emoji Movie” is quite an example of exactly why this advancement cannot be considered complete.

In fact, the main character’s name says it all. The movie is about a “meh” emoji named “Gene,” which sounds pretty similar to “generic.” Honestly, just saying this much is all this travesty of a film deserves, but for the sake of completeness, we’ll go into more detail on just exactly what made this movie stink more than a poop emoji.

The film revolves around a teenage boy trying to choose an emoji to send to a girl he has a crush on. While that riveting plot point doesn’t seem too revolutionary, there may be more to this movie than meets the eye.

It’s possible that the film also tries to explore the deep philosophical ideas of predetermination and free will through its characterization of the “meh” emoji, who ends up accepting his fate as a “meh” emoji despite his conflicting personality. Or, it’s just a poorly thought out plot attempting to trick viewers into thinking they will be watching a bold and unique movie, before pulling the old bait and switch, and giving them the beaten-to-death classic plotline of “character accepts himself/herself.”

Quite frankly, “The Emoji Movie” has the same role in Hollywood as Patrick Stewart has in the movie itself: a pile of poop that attempts to make us laugh.

It comes as a surprise to many, but “The Emoji Movie” actually has turned a very respectable profit. Having made $171 million on a $50 million budget, Columbia Pictures should be very happy with its financials.

Now, how could this possibly happen? Many good films like “Children of Men” and “Scott Pilgrim vs. The World” don’t even turn a profit, and yet this abomination of animation earns over $120 million. The answer to this can be found in the viral marketing campaign done by Columbia.

One of the more notorious examples of this is found on veteran popular YouTuber Jacksfilms, who after making many videos making fun of “The Emoji Movie,” was cordially invited by Sony Pictures Animation to the premier of the film. His string of videos chronicling the experience from getting the letter to attending the event to giving a satirical review have given “The Emoji Movie” immense amounts of free marketing.

Other than that, the film has established its own cult reputation online. Similar to the notoriously bad Tommy Wiseau film “The Room” from 2003, the film has managed to be so bad that some find it funny enough to watch and mock. Although by no means is it critically passable as even a decent film, the numerous blatant product placement deals, the most obvious being for “Just Dance 2017,” have had many in-the-know internet users rolling in laughter. Not to mention the basically absurd amount of mentions of Dropbox and the insane notion of uploading emojis to the cloud.

Really, “The Emoji Movie” isn’t good. In fact, it’s probably not even debatable that it’s objectively terrible. That’s right, shockingly, dozens of poop jokes and somewhat unexpected force innuendos in a kid’s movie doesn’t make it good. However, that doesn’t mean it doesn’t leave us all as “Smilers” (the main antagonist of the film).


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