The Emoji Movie (2017)

What I’m sure was going to set the platform for a Sony movie/ad universe following up with a The “Tic Tac Toe Movie,” The “Peek a Boo Movie,” and “The Jingle car keys in front our Faces Movie,” “The Emoji Movie” (aka “The Sony Press Kit”) is the height of laziness to the point where the script was probably written on a napkin at a some overpriced coffee shop in Beverly Hills. “The Emoji Movie” is not just bad, but it’s offensively boring, and tedious. It’s “Doogal” bad. It’s “A Shark Tale” bad. There are just so many bafflingly stupid and moronic moments in “The Emoji Movie,” that I can’t believe any actual writer put all of this down on page with sincerity or the goal of turning any of this in to a pop culture craze.

The bland hero “Meh” calls texting “the greatest invention of all time,” our goofy female heroine goes out of her way to express how feminist and independent she is where she literally tells “Meh” she’s not a princess interested in finding romance. And in the finale when human character Alex gets his smile emoji to his school girl crush, she proclaims “I like a guy who isn’t afraid to express his feelings.” This is literally a movie where a human relationship between two teenagers hinges on a single emoji. I kept waiting for the goofy High school drama song from “Family Guy” to play: “High school is a serious thing! These problems matter!” Sony just aren’t trying anymore, as they seem to be more interested in turning their movies in to cash machines more than anything of actual dignity or substance. “Meh” is literally about as boring in the end as he is in the beginning, “Jail Break” is a tepid pastiche of weak feminist tropes, and “High Five” is just a rip off of Patrick Starr from “Spongebob” and Oloff from “Frozen” with James Corden’s shrill voice ruining any comedic potential the character has.

There is literally no character Sony can glom on to with the hopes of banking on their popularity like the minions. And that’s pathetic when you can’t even manufacture something as tepid as the minions. “The Emoji Movie” is so poorly cobbled together that it can’t even competently use Stephen Wright or Patrick Stewart, the latter of which seems to be in the movie mainly because of his meme-worthy presence on the internet. Sans the “Hotel Transylvania” short “Puppy!” in the opening, “The Emoji Movie” and its soulless excursion clocks in at barely eighty minutes. The rest is nothing but advertisements for products from Sony and Sony affiliates. Spotify! Instagram! Twitter! Candy Crush! Drop Box! They’re not only mentioned, but they’re crucial plot points, just in case kids are thinking of ignoring the blatant advertising Sony is by no means subtle about including.

“The Emoji Movie” is just such a waste of time, and no child should be subjected to such mindless, vapid, junk food. Please stop, Sony. Just stop. I’m going to go cleanse my palette by re-watching “Kubo and the Two Strings,” once again.