The Emoji Movie’s crossover promotions with Facebook, Snapchat and Candy Crush—not to mention its questionable tweet parodying The Handmaid’s Tale—certainly didn’t help its standing with critics.
Sony’s film, which stars T.J. Miller as the “meh” emoji and Patrick Stewart as the poop emoji, hits theaters today. But according to most reviews, you should stay far away from it—it currently has a three percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
Aside from bad writing and offensive jokes, many critics have a problem with the film’s gratuitous tech product placement. YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, Just Dance, Crackle, WeChat and Dropbox are all mentioned—Dropbox is actually held up as a sort of nirvana, where the emojis will be “saved.”
With all that in mind, here are some of the best zingers from Emoji Movie hot takes.
“It’s one giant ad, dressed up as family-friendly entertainment. Everyone involved should be ashamed….giving money to a movie like this is only going to encourage more like it. So please: Don’t do it. Stay home. Watch literally anything else. And maybe put down your phone.”
“It’s amazing — or maybe it isn’t — that in addition to its poorly conceived Handmaid’s Tale stunt, the filmmakers saw fit to have a character sing, “Nobody knows the touch screens I’ve seen / Nobody knows the screenshots,” while sitting atop a pile of trash, to the tune of ‘Nobody Knows the Trouble I’ve Seen,’ a spiritual written by slaves to bolster their spirits while toiling in the pre-Emancipation American South.”
Glenn Kenny, The New York Times
“This movie’s ‘believe in yourself’ message is borne out, in a perverse way, by the very fact that it even exists. And yet the whole thing remains nakedly idiotic.”
“There are plenty of words that can describe The Emoji Movie. Here are a few of them: Unfunny. Saccharine. Nonsensical. Painful. And, of course, crappy.”
“No animated movie outside the Cars franchise has raised more logistical questions about its strange setting than The Emoji Movie. Here is just one question I had: In one scene, Poop (and his son!) exit a restroom stall. When a sentient poop uses a toilet, what do they excrete? What is in a poop’s poop? On second thought, don’t tell me.”
Jordan Hoffman, New York Daily News
“The only thing worse than the dialogue is the absurd product placement. In addition to ‘riding the Spotify streams’ to make it all the way across the phones, there are a few glimpses hawking Crackle, a streaming service no one uses but just so happens to be owned by the same corporate entity that is distributing the film.”
“And yes, there’s a poop emoji voiced by Sir Patrick Stewart, in a part whose total dialogue must surely run well under two minutes. Anyone can be bought for the right price, but not for too long.”
Lindsey Bahr, Associated Press
“There are five stages of grief in preparing to watch The Emoji Movie. The first is denial that this actually exists. The second is anger that now even storytelling has been reduced to those reductive blobs. The third is bargaining that, hey, they made The Lego Movie work against all odds so maybe some smart folks actually pulled this off. The fourth is depression that all movies ideas are just doomed to confuse ‘brands’ for ‘ideas.’ And the fifth is acceptance that, yes, of course that’s where we’re headed so let’s pull up a seat and make the most of it.”
“As with Sony’s The Angry Birds Movie, this is a film that’s shameless about its origins as a pocket doodad; it also resembles that previous film by being completely shrill and stupid.”
“The Emoji Movie turned out to be an even worse idea in execution than it did on paper. Its characters are weak, its story lame, and its purpose unclear. Do yourself a favor, and swipe left on this one.”
Peter Sobczynski, RogerEbert.com
“This is a film that has literally nothing to offer viewers…The Emoji Movie is a demonstration of artistic abdication at its most venal.”