Breaking news out of Hollywood: The Emoji Movie sucks.
That's right, the animated film about colorful emoticons isn't good. It's so bad, in fact, that it has garnered a whopping 8% on Rotten Tomatoes. It'll make some money at the box office, it'll even make some kids laugh. But The Emoji Movie is destined to be a punchline of a film. People really, truly hate this movie and seem to enjoy hating it. Why?
The reviews have been as harsh as expected:
"I don't think I can say anything funny about this, because it makes me want to die." - The Verge
"T.J. Miller's ticket to oblivion." - Movie Nation
"It is one of the darkest, most dismaying films I have ever seen, much less one ostensibly made for children." - New York Magazine
And my favorite:
"Hear that? It's the end of the world." - New York Post
The disdain for this movie is strong. Stronger than it is for others. There are always bad movies but it’s rare for one to be as detested as The Emoji Movie. Why? And is it necessary? I think it is necessary and, in a way, cathartic. Hating The Emoji Movie might actually be good for all of us in these troubled times.
You know how they say it’s better to laugh with someone than at them? Well, the truth is that sometimes it’s more fun to laugh at someone. That’s especially true when you are laughing with a group. That’s a cruel, but accurate, statement. So when everyone piles onto one thing, whether it be a movie or an album or even a public figure, there is a sort of collective joining that feels more and more uncommon these days. Universal disgust for something is brutal and often petty but it’s still universal. Yes, everyone is coming together to hate something and, yes, hate is a useless emotion. But at least they’re coming together, right?
People say you shouldn’t waste your time ridiculing a movie, or any art. There is certainly merit to that. Why spend energy and emotion on something you don’t like? I’ll tell you why: because we live in some fucked up times and we need every commonality we can have. Will the film makers’ feelings be bruised? Possibly but they made a movie about a talking poop emoji so I’m sure they were ready for some criticism. In fact, the people behind The Emoji Movie should be proud because they are bringing so many folks together at a time when we need it most.
Perhaps it’s the concept, perhaps the blatant commercialization or perhaps the marketing but people really, really, really hate The Emoji Movie and it feels good. It feels like release. It feels like something we can all get behind. It’s like everyone rooting for the same team. Only it happens to be everyone rooting against a movie made for children.
Look, would I like us to live in a world where we all come together to end hunger and war and strife? Of course, and that still may happen someday. But we are continually proving that we aren’t yet there as a species so I’m looking for wins wherever I can find them. The fact of the matter is that people detest The Emoji Movie. Lots of people. Lots of different people from all over the world loathe this film. And their reviews and remarks have turned the picture into an embarrasment that everyone is laughing at. We are all in on the joke, even those of us who haven’t seen the movie hate it. We are collectively ridiculing and recoiling from this film as one giant, snobby group. There is something very human and, quite frankly, beautiful in that.
See, movies do bring people together.