It sounds like critics and movie fans might be drawing a line in the sand over the current rash of movies about toys, games and otherwise meaningless intellectual properties.
As such ‘The Emoji Movie’ – and this doesn’t bode well for the forthcoming ‘Fruit Ninja’ movie, by the way – is getting a merciless battering.
Critics are truly going to town on it, and at the time of publishing, it was languishing with a rare ‘0%’ approval rating on reviews aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes.
But while there’s often a certain glee inherent in bad reviews, these feel somehow different.
“Hear that? It’s the end of the world,” proclaims the New York Post. “Please restore my eyes to factory settings.”
Adds the Los Angeles Times: “There could be far worse ways to spend 86 minutes. But maybe, just maybe, it’d be the better choice to spend those 86 minutes outside, or reading a book, or talking face-to-face with another human being.”
“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,” reckons the New York Times.
There’s even a bit of fury in The Guardian‘s one-star notice of what it brands a ‘toxic’ film, ‘infecting audiences with its ugly cynicism’.
“Children should not be allowed to watch The Emoji Movie,” writes Charles Bramesco. “Their impressionable brains simply aren’t set up to sift through the thick haze of corporate subterfuge clouding every scene of this sponsored-content post masquerading as a feature film.
“Adults know enough to snort derisively when, say, an anthropomorphic high-five drops a reference to popular smartphone game Just Dance Now (available for purchase in the App Store, kids!), but young children especially are more innocent and more vulnerable.
“A viewer leaves The Emoji Movie a colder person, not only angry at the film for being unconscionably bad, but resentful of it for making them feel angry.”
Indiewire calls it ‘as bad and brutally depressing as everything else in 2017’.
Starring ‘Deadpool’s T.J. Miller as an emoji who can show multiple expressions, the cast also features James Corden, Anna Faris, Maya Rudolph, Sofia Vergara and, regrettably, Sir Patrick Stewart as the ‘poop’ emoji.
But it’s not just critics who appear to hate it… movie fans have flocked to sites like Reddit to air their displeasure.
“It’s a lazy, low-effort, greedy cash grab,” said one user.
“The plot felt so paper-thin that it honestly didn’t even feel like a movie,” added another. “It was weird, and not in a good way.
“The best joke in the movie was when someone in the audience yelled out ‘jump’ when Gene was sitting on a ledge.”
‘The Emoji Movie’ is out on August 4.