The Emoji Movie (2017) Review The Emoji Movie (2017) Review
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Where’s that poop emoji… Capitalism is dead. Banish all your earthly pleasures, remove your clothing, sell your home, cut your credit cards and debit... The Emoji Movie (2017) Review

Where’s that poop emoji…

Capitalism is dead. Banish all your earthly pleasures, remove your clothing, sell your home, cut your credit cards and debit cards and throw your phone down a well. Find the deepest well you can possibly find and allow your phone to drop. Bathe in that silence, detached from the world, the silence deafens and overwhelms. The system will cripple, banks will collapse, and currency will become outdated and redundant.

Language is dead. Revert back to your primordial self, buckle over and allow your full weight to full upon your hands. Speak only in grunts and muffled growls, language is a thing of the past. Scrawl crude drawings upon walls for that is language now. Relationships mean nothing as emotions cannot be conveyed through speech. Your family beg and plead, you try to speak but no, only a grunt. You draw an aubergine, a smiley face, a hand clapping and a pair of sunglasses, but it’s too late. They’ve gone.

Nothing matters anymore. Art is dead. Language is dead. Consumerism is dead. Capitalism is dead. Poetry, prose and narrative are dead.

The Emoji Movie may as well beckon the end of capitalism. It’s an advert for Sony, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Spotify, Dropbox and Just Dance packaged for children. It’s fodder to force upon the young, indoctrinating them to bow at the body of their smartphones for only it can ensure future happiness.

On television, a small “P” appears over the opening credits to inform the audience of product placement. As with YouTube, creators must ensure their audience is aware if the video released exists to appease a company. Now, if The Emoji Movie had to comply to these rules, it would most likely involve thuggish bouncers breathing down your neck with a large stamp reading “advert” which they would bang against the back of your head for 87 minutes until you lie unconscious. In that state, beaten by a corporate bouncer, you would have nightmares of The Emoji Movie and wake in fright.

As a piece of narrative cinema, it hangs by a thread. There are no set rules. YouTube videos show live-action people only for the film to cut back to animated teenagers. Character motivations mean nothing while the how and why of this smartphone set world induce a thudding headache if attempted to dissect. It’s as if the film was written by recently landed extraterrestrials that have glanced only momentarily at a smart phone.

At least TJ Miller (who really, really, really should have known better) is at least a meh “Meh.” His stoner-enthusiasm is maybe the least annoying thing about “Meh,” a character with the muddled morals and motivations of a small child. In fact, the majority of the cast should have known better. Maya Rudolph is at a perennial 11 as the perennially irritating, emptily sinister Smiley emoji and Anna Faris’ lamely, limp feminist Jailbreak should make mothers and daughter’s shudder so brazen is the film’s gross build up, then frank disregard of women as independent to men.

Like a rash only worsened by itching, James Corden continues to spread across all forms of popular media and this time, he’s especially, especially, especially annoying. He’s Jar Jar Binks, Stifler, scratching a blackboard unpleasant.

There’s something startling about its infatuation with commerce and consumerism. Detours into popular apps such as Candy Crush and Just Dance Now are queasily clinical and cynical while Faris’ Jailbreak takes time out to discuss the pros of using Dropbox. This, in a film aimed at children.

And if the film is aimed at children, it must be the incredibly young. Which begs the questions; what’s the point? Why does the film exist? Who is it actually for? The economic politics of the film will leave parents itching to leave and teenagers will have little interest in whatever the film is trying to say in its baffling morals. So surely babies, or those not yet with an understanding of language will find comfort in the bright colours.

The Emoji Movie may as well be the great calling card to end modern capitalism. It’s corrosive and bitter, odious and unpleasant. Art it dead. Language is dead. Nothing matters anymore.

The Emoji Movie is released on 4th August, with advance previews showing now.

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Thomas Harris

Every waking moment, Herzog narrates. It's existential and arduous.