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Top 10 Reasons Why The Emoji Movie is Hated

VO: Rebecca Brayton WRITTEN BY: Michael Wynands
Script written by Michael Wynands. This is one film that world history could have done without. Join WatchMojo.com as we count down our picks for the Top 10 Reasons Why the Emoji Movie Is Hated. For this list, we’ll be looking at some of the many reasons why this film was a magnet for so much hate.
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Top 10 Reasons Why the Emoji Movie Is Hated

This is one film that world history could have done without. Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the Top 10 Reasons Why the Emoji Movie Is Hated.

For this list, we’ll be looking at some of the many reasons why this film was a magnet for so much hate.

#10: The Movie Is LITERALLY About Emojis

Yes… the film title is pretty clear, but given just how bad of an idea for a movie that sounds, many people assumed that there would be more to the film’s plot than the lives of the little icons that we use in our everyday texts and chats. To be fair, they did add a human narrative about the young smartphone user whose phone houses the assorted central characters, but it’s not very satisfying or engaging, and the human characters are totally forgettable. At the end of the day, this is a film about a communication tool, which literally nobody asked for, or ever expressed interest in. What’s next, “Punctuation: The Movie”?

#9: Jailbreak Feels Like a Discount Wyldstyle

In addition to being hilarious and wonderfully inventive, 2014’s “The Lego Movie” seriously delivered in terms of characters - one standout in particular being Wyldstyle.This strong-willed, independent, rebellious master builder is a total badass. Now… let’s take a look at Jailbreak. Right off the bat, the name feels derivative. Then there’s her fashion sense, and the similar personality and attitude. Unfortunately, whereas Wyldstyle was inspiring and modern, Jailbreak felt like a paint by numbers caricature of the progressive female character. Where Wyldstyle inspired, Jailbreak disappointed and offended with her generic design and story arc. It felt like Sony was trying to capitalize on the growth of feminist cinema rather than actually contribute to it.

#8: It Allegedly Cost Us a Popeye Movie

We can’t say that one movie necessarily replaced the other, but the story basically goes as follows: A Popeye movie was in development at Sony, with Genndy Tartakovsky at the helm, who you may know for creating “Dexter’s Laboratory” and “Samurai Jack”, as well as directing the “Hotel Transylvania” trilogy. A sizzle reveal was apparently met with great reactions, but then, in 2015, Tartakovsky, announced that his Popeye had been put on the backburner if not outright cancelled due to leadership changes at Sony. The new guard reportedly wanted new ideas, not those that had been in development under their predecessor. And so, we got “The Emoji Movie” instead, and Tartakovsky moved on.

#7: Horrible Marketing

If you want to aim for the lowest common denominator when producing your film, by all means, go for it. But don’t you dare drag quality programming into the mud with you. It was bad enough that Sony staged an event at Cannes’ Carlton Pier on the eve of the acclaimed Cannes Film Festival, a place this particular movie was certainly not welcome. But they took things too far with the marketing campaign when they decided parody “The Handmaid’s Tale” in a tweet that indirectly made light of the show’s dark subject matter. The Emoji Movie’s twitter account later deleted the tweet, but the damage was already done.

#6: Unfunny Jokes

You can make any number of bad decisions when making a comedy (including a weak premise) and still come out with a successful movie so long as you get one crucial thing right - the comedy. But boy oh boy did the writers behind “The Emoji Movie” ever drop the ball in that regard. From start to finish, this movie is one big cringeworthy groan-fest. Every line intended as a knee slapper instead inspires facepalms from the poor audience who made the mistake of watching the film. It’s not that the jokes are childish, or corny, or even dad jokes. They’re just tired, uninspired and sometimes downright insulting to the intelligence of viewers.

#5: It’s An Obvious Cash Grab

Speaking of insulting… let’s revisit the premise of this film. We’ve already said it once, but we’ll say it again – it’s literally about emojis. Rather than produce an interesting story about unique, original characters, the powers that be at Sony decided to cash in on what they thought was most relevant to kids in that moment, and the end result is a movie utterly lacking in soul. By baiting the smartphone-using youth, they made a modest profit, but at the expense of all credibility. This movie was just a transparent attempt to take advantage of a trend in pop culture.

#4: It’s Boring

Terrible character concepts aside, at the heart of any good film is a story. Within the wacky fictional world of Textopolis, with all of modern technology and pop culture at their disposal, surely the filmmakers managed to at least take us on a wild, weird, and action-filled adventure? NOPE. One of the biggest grievances that cinemagoers and critics alike had with this film is that, in addition to being unoriginal, it was downright boring. Since you’re not invested in the characters, you don’t care about their personal stories, and as for the actual sequence of events, well, you go to some strange places, but not much of anything happens there. The film’s climax was particularly dull.

#3: It’s Derivative of “Wreck-It-Ralph”, “The Lego Movie” and “Inside Out”

The whole concept of fleshing out a world and life for something that people play with makes further comparisons between “The Lego Movie” and “The Emoji Movie” inevitable. Then there’s the clear Wreck-It-Ralph overlap. Exploring various apps on an adventure of self-discovery and acceptance feels a whole lot like a trip through various arcade cabinets. The property it feels most beholden to however, is “Inside Out”, in the sense that we’re going inside a human’s phone to follow the story of a cast of characters who help that person express themselves. Unfortunately, “The Emoji Movie” falls far short of all three films.

#2: They Made Sir Patrick Stewart Play Poop

We get that the poop emoji is a popular one that has stepped off of our phones to become figurines, plushies, mugs and more, but even with its unique level of success, it’s still nowhere near good enough for this iconic actor. From Captain Jean-Luc Picard to Professor Charles Xavier, and countless critically acclaimed theater performances as part of Royal Shakespeare Company, this thespian has proven himself to be one of the most talented of his generation. We get that “The Emoji Movie” was trying to make that a part of the joke by having him play an elegant poop emoji, but every time the character spoke… we cringed.

#1: Jam-Packed with Product Placement

This derivative film might have been trying to bill itself as the most tech-savvy, connected animated film ever made, but it’s various nods to social media and popular digital culture came across as the most thinly veiled mass ad we’ve ever had the displeasure of consuming. They visit the Instagram App. They travel via Spotify. They summon the Twitter bird. Facebook, YouTube, WeChat... it’s ALL there. In addition to visiting a Just Dance App, which, quite frankly, we didn’t even know existed until now, the characters literally play a game of Candy Crush. These nods aren’t self-aware or creative interpretations of pop culture; like everything else in this film, they’re just… there.
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