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The Emoji Movie

Opening Date
08 Aug 2017
92 mins
English with Chinese subtitles
Tony Leondis
T. J. Miller, Steven Wright, Ilana Glazer, James Corden
The Emoji Movie unlocks the never-before-seen secret world inside your smartphone. Hidden within the messaging app is Textopolis, a bustling city where all your favourite emojis live, hoping to be selected by the phone's user. In this world, each emoji has only one facial expression - except for Gene (T.J. Miller), an exuberant emoji who was born without a filter and is bursting with multiple expressions. Determined to become "normal" like the other emojis, Gene enlists the help of his handy best friend Hi-5 (James Corden) and the notorious code breaker emoji Jailbreak (Ilana Glazer).

Together, they embark on an epic "app-venture" through the apps on the phone, each its own wild and fun world, to find the Code that will fix Gene. But when a greater danger threatens the phone, the fate of all emojis depends on these three unlikely friends who must save their world before it's deleted forever.
By Flora  10 Aug 2017
The perfect emoji to sum up this movie is: 😑
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The new animated feature directed and co-written by Tony Leondis is one animation that could have the potential to go far but lacks in its story development, and overused of poop-like humour that was nothing more unappealing. 

The film centres around a malfunctioning emoji named Gene (T.J. Miller) who is able to express other emotions other than his predestined ‘Meh’ emotion… ostracised by his other emoticons, he escapes from the text app called ‘Textopolis’ so that he can be reprogrammed to make him ‘normal’. He travels through the mobile phone with a ‘High-5’ emoji (James Corden) who was once popular, and is now hoping to be reprogrammed to regain his fame. 

All of these happen in a teenager’s phone, Alex, who has a crush on his classmates, Addie. In an attempt to send her an emoji, the ‘meh’ emoji that Alex selected turned out to be a bundle of weird-looking expressions. That’s because Gene had a stage fright moment in his little cube, disaster ensues where he wrecks havoc to the entire workplace in Textopolis. 

Persuaded by High-5, they travel to another app to meet Jailbreak (Anna Faris), who they believe will be able to bring them to ‘the cloud’. With Gene’s multiple personalities, she would be able to finally break the firewall. 

We were brought into the world of ‘what’s behind the game/emotions’ with Wreck-It-Ralph, followed by Inside Out, which both did exceptionally well. It is a no brainer as to why Sony would want to join this party line, especially when it comes to mobile phones and the younger generation who are obsessed with it. 

While the premise of the animated feature of our emojis sure sounds interesting at first, it doesn’t capture the essence of novelty like the other similar films did. When the film passes the description of how Textopolis work and the ‘app world’ in a smartphone, the core of that wonderment is lost. If the jokes and narrative cannot continue its freshness, then poop jokes merely become stifled humour; and dead-pan expressions from Gene’s parents reduces to repetitive banter. 

The voice actors are great, even the animation is superb, but if they can’t save a paper-thin structure. Having said that, The Emoji Movie has been doing unexpectedly well at the box office - perhaps they do, after all, have the formula that attracts kids to the cinemas to catch it, despite the vicious reviews online.
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Trailers / Videos
Trailer #1
Teaser Trailer

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