It’s an experience unlike any other: a polarizing and seductive 90 minutes that will tantalize your mind and stimulate your body. The Emoji Movie is cerebral. This is a film that needs celebration. It provides a sensation within your body that you simply cannot experience anywhere else. The likes of Disney, Pixar or even Dreamworks wouldn’t dare make something as audacious as this. Those are studios too caught up in their emotionally backed, original ideas to even think of coming up with something like The Emoji Movie. This is the film we were born to see. It’s one that will define a generation. Heck, this is going to be one we’re going to talk about decades from now.
From there, things only go up. We’re introduced to the fittingly named Textopolis, a vast civilization that… you guessed it… lives inside your phone. You thought there we just wires and buttons hogging the space in there? Wrong. For Textopolis is a land of acceptance and opportunity. Emojis walk the street, where they’re ridiculed and yelled at, a fitting and definitely 100% intentional political message aimed at modern America. Here, we meet Gene (T.J. Miller, finally matching the success of previous smash-hit Yogi Bear 3D). Gene is a meh emoji, but he wants to be so much more. It’s a representation of the human spirit, and an embodiment of all we hold dear.
A lot of the humour seems to have gone over their heads. They mustn’t have understood the intent. It’s funny because Poop, the character, is literal poop. And poop, the excrement, is referred to as number two on the chain of toiletries. So, in chanting that they are number two, they’re embracing not only their ability to succeed at their job, but they’re playing with the words to create a most sincere potty joke. It’s a joke so funny, so original and so witty that I would’ve been surprised if there had been any less than three fully-grown adult writers involved. You have to have a long history in Hollywood to create something so thoughtful and meaningful, and it’s a career move that’s clearly paid off.
The Emoji Movie is powerful stuff. There really isn’t a better message out there than “when life gets you down and people want you dead, just hack their computers and solve everything.” Not only that, but the film deals with undertones of princess misrepresentation in the media. No, when they sing, birds don’t appear out of nowhere and join in with their tunes. They’re people too, you guys, and The Emoji Movie decides to set things straight. There are even themes and justifications behind sexting, and a character at one point stating, “words are overrated,” a thought process I’m sure the screenwriters behind this masterpiece believe. However, at one point, The Emoji Movie does muck up. It falsifies the ideology that a teenage boy attempting to flirt won’t use the eggplant emoji, and it’s an inaccuracy far too obvious to forgive.
There’s apps constantly falling into a pit known as the trash, a voyage to return to HQ, a mission to change the system and a comedic side character who’s left behind in a void of darkness. Many will go and state the obvious and unjustified criticism that The Emoji Movie is nothing more than an Inside Out rip-off, but that simply isn’t true. It’s a reflection of the past, expanding upon that original premise and creating deeper undertones, while also paying homage to its prior brilliance. This is so much more than a movie. This is art. With the emoji world constantly changing, Apple now introducing a camera that turns you into an emoji, there’s so much wriggle room for new ideas. If no sequel is on the horizon, Hollywood is truly falling apart.
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