The Emoji Movie review: heavy on ads, light on story

Hacker emoji Jailbreak (Ilana Glazer), exuberant Gene (T.J. Miller) and his handy best friend Hi-5 (James Corden) embark on the app-venture of a lifetime in Sony Pictures Animation's Emoji Movie

The Emoji Movie is like the meh symbol – boring and completely pointless, writes Alice Wright.

Director Tony Leondis wants us to think that Textopolis is a bustling colourful city inside our phones and a world of imagination.

Gene, a multi-expression emoji, is threatened to be deleted after he messes up a message that his user, Alex, sends to his crush. Gene escapes the agents that are sent to destroy him by Smiler (Maya Rudolph), the overly happy emoji, and accepts himself for the way he is. 

The storyline is terrible, painful and cringe. James Corden playing the high five emoji is enough to make you want to insert the sick emoji. The inclusion of humans in this film seems almost pointless and it would’ve been cool if they were more involved in the plot rather than purely existing for the emojis. 

Alex (Jake T. Austin) appears to be the only person struggling with issues because of the emojis inside Textopolis, which is weird as you would assume this imaginery city would live inside all the teenagers’ phones. 

Heavy on advertising and light on story, the film is a shameless ploy to plug lots of different apps to a young audience, dressed up as family friendly entertainment. The product placement is less placement and more shoved right in your face to the point where you can’t see anything else. Gene gyrates his way through Just Dance, gets stuck inside Candy Crush and sails along a pixelated river in DropBox as a whale floats over the top of him. Some of the imagery in this film is nice, but it gets lost 

I wanted to cleanse my mind of the whole 82 minutes. It was that awful that not even young children would enjoy this uninspiring, colourful mess.