2017 is coming to a close and it hasn’t exactly been a good year for Hollywood.
Aside from the odd successes like Christopher Nolan’s beautiful Dunkirk and the stunning superhero flick Wonder Woman, not only have blockbusters flopped with the critics but they have bombed at the box office.
Set to launch Universal’s so-called Dark Universe, The Mummy reboot – starring none other than box office gold magnet Tom Cruise – was not only critically panned but it barely turned a profit, leading to the next films in the franchise postponed.
Despite receiving mostly positive reviews, Alien: Covenant did not make even close to the figure expected from the studio and although Stephen King is in this year – hello again, Pennywise – the cinematic adaption of his work The Dark Tower left audiences confused and disappointed quickly putting to an end to that hopeful franchise.
Even the kings of animation Pixar had a bad year with Cars 3 being the lowest-grossing film they have ever released.
But sometimes audiences don’t listen to reviews as was made clear when The Emoji Movie, one of the worst-reviewed films ever made, became a commercial success.
I’m not exactly sure who exactly went to see the movie, but I can be certain they didn’t enjoy it, as it is simply impossible to be entertained by this stinking pile of trash.
Not only is The Emoji Movie the biggest turkey this year, but it is also undoubtedly one of the worst films ever made.
It is that dreadful I feel personally offended it even exists.
If you want a reminder of what 120 minutes of pure torture looks like, you can watch the trailer for the film here:
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Let’s be honest, as soon as the film was announced we all knew it just wasn’t going to be good no matter who worked on it or what was done with it.
Just like The Lego Movie, the film was designed to be a vehicle for product placement.
However, not only is Lego a toy but it is an immersive world, and one loved by millions of people worldwide, so it lends itself well to a film adaptation, especially one which is so brilliant it never once feels like it is tying to sell you something.
The case is very different for emojis since they are some fun symbols that we throw into texts every now and again – that’s it!
Sure, they can be pretty cute and there are plenty of different characters we can pick from to send to our friends or use to represent how we are feeling, but it isn’t exactly the basis for a world a movie can be built upon.
To be frank, emojis are popular and Hollywood being Hollywood decided that no matter how absurd the idea was they could make money off it – thus The Emoji Movie was born.
I have never, ever, ever seen a film before that is as corporate, as inhuman and as evil (yes, I really did just use that word) as The Emoji Movie.
Aimed at kids, no child should ever see this film as not only is it just not fun and completely soulless, but their young and impressionable brains just shouldn’t be subjected to the constant commercials.
The filmmakers may try and portray Textopolis, the world inside our mobile phones where the film takes place, as being colourful and imaginative but actually the truth couldn’t be further from this.
Textopolis allows the characters to jump from app to app and from advert to advert, leaving you stunned at how thinly veiled the sponsored content is.
I’m not sure what young child wants DropBox, or even owns an iPhone to be honest, but there is a plug for that app as well as Just Dance, Spotify and Twitter among others.
Seriously though, there was a five minute scene where the characters had to play Candy Crush, which involved explaining the rules of the games, as they tried to escape from some killer bots.
It is beyond embarrassing how the film is so obviously taking advantage of its young and vulnerable target audience.
If you are sat there thinking ‘well the film might still be fun’, you couldn’t be more wrong as all signs of life, hope and soul are sucked out from the dead movie.
The cast does feature some decent and funny stars including Maya Rudolph, Anna Faris and even Patrick Stewart but I can personally guarantee you that at no point during the torment will you either smile or laugh.
Honestly, I don’t even think it tries to be amusing knowing that it was a lost cause as soon as it went into production.
And before you think things just possibly can’t get any worse, the so-called ‘Emoji Pop’ is introduced.
Deciding that they wanted to contribute something *cough* original *cough* to the world, the film features a new dance called the ‘Emoji Pop’ which involves putting your hands repeatedly up to your face in a hellish version of the game peek-a-boo.
The movie actually at one point shrieks at you ‘everybody, do the Emoji Pop’ with the desperation being very, very clear.
Stop trying to make the Emoji Pop a thing, it’s never going to happen, guys!
What is perhaps most concerning about the film is that it makes us question what exactly the future holds for animation and for cinema in general.
Product placement has always been a feature of cinema and without it many of our favourite films just wouldn’t have been made.
Franchises such as James Bond rely on deals with companies such as Omega and Aston Martin in order to raise the money needed to finance the movies.
But The Emoji Movie represents a new kind of beast, one which is solely adverts and doesn’t even attempt to disguise it.
Will other films follow suit? Who knows – but the future sure looks meh.
Emily Murray is a journalist at UNILAD. She graduated from the University of Leeds with a BA in English Literature and History before studying for a Masters in Journalism at the University of Salford. Emily has previously worked for the BBC, ITV and Trinity Mirror. When Emily isn’t writing about topics including mental health and entertainment, you can find her at the cinema which is her second home.