If film critics are to be believed, the new star-studded animated film “The Emoji Movie” is one of the worst films of the summer. Which should come as no surprise to anyone who saw the trailer ...
... or saw the cringeworthy marketing for the movie tying it to the definitely-not-for-kids Hulu adaption of Margaret Atwood’s “The Handmaid’s Tale”:
But, alas, “The Emoji Movie” — which will forever remain on the IMDb pages of T.J. Miller, Patrick Stewart, James Corden, Maya Rudolph, Anna Faris and Sofía Vergara — still made it to theaters, which means professional movie reviewers still had to go see it. And while we can only imagine the pain of sitting in a dark theater having to write words about a film about, well, emojis, we thank them for these terrifically, deliciously, painful reviews:
- The Verge: “This is a movie about how words aren’t cool, but you can still expect a girl to fall at your feet in response to mild wordplay. Please keep up. Or throw whatever device you’re reading this on into the ocean. Send me a postcard; tell me what it’s like to be free.”
- Vox: “It’s amazing that we can put a man on the moon but movies like this still somehow get made.”
- The A.V. Club: “The ‘plot’ is really an excuse to hop from one app to another; there are stops in the lands of Candy Crush, WeChat, Just Dance, Instagram, Spotify, and (for the kids!) Dropbox.”
- Entertainment Weekly: “There is an awareness pulsing through this movie, as it pulses through our own lives, that so much of what once seemed like progress was the opposite of progress, that our dreams of a better tomorrow were always leading us to a miserable today.”
- The New York Times: “For a long time, Hollywood has been propagating the idea that the panderingly, trendily idiotic can be made to seem less so, by polishing it up with bright shiny gloss and enlisting engaging talented performers and writers. I can’t be entirely certain of this, but I would say ‘The Emoji Movie’ takes this notion to the outer limits of credibility.”
- Vulture: “Not once does this film rise above the level of humor of literally any real-world use of a simple upside-down-face emoji (whose meaning I tend to translate as ‘Wheeee, life is a horrible hall of mirrors and I am powerless to do anything but smile about it.’) If only my review of this film could be an upside-down-face emoji.”
- RogerEbert.com: “A work so completely devoid of wit, style, intelligence or basic entertainment value that it makes that movie based on the Angry Birds app seem like a pure artistic statement by comparison.”
- Village Voice: “We’re lying if we grown-ups try to pretend that this one’s not on us ... kids didn’t create the pixelated and thoroughly dumbed-down society this movie has been introduced into, like some sort of trippy, multicolored cinematic virus.”
At the time of this writing, “The Emoji Movie” has a 6 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes, a full one percent ahead of Sean Penn’s “The Last Face.” Which, come to think of it, would be a pretty good name for the inevitable “Emoji” sequel.
This article originally appeared on Recode.net.