Western Courier

The Emoji cleans up at Razzies

Nicholas Ebelhack, editor-in-chief

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Last night, Cinema honored the best and brightest at the Oscars, but two nights ago, the 2018 Razzie awards handed out their their awards to cinemas dullest, most annoying and hopeless films of the year, culminating in a number of awards for the year’s punching bag, “The Emoji Movie.”

Let’s be honest, “The Emoji Movie” was destined for a “Worst Picture” award since the moment it was conceived. It’s insulting because it assumes that a kid’s movie doesn’t have to assume a standard of quality, and because it demonstrates any lack of creative thought by personifying images that have already done the creative part for them.

“The Emoji Movie” was released in July of 2017, so it’s been out for quite some time. But because of its recent award-winning (losing?) status and Netflix release I discovered on a less-than-sober Saturday night, like a sadistic cowboy I’m going to beat this dead horse just a little bit longer.

Each of the awards that “The Emoji Movie” won (lost?) Friday is well deserved. Director and writer Tony Leondis, who has previously worked on other blatant cash grabs such as “Lilo & Stitch 2: Stitch Has a Glitch,” “Kronk’s New Groove,” and “Kung Fu Panda: Secrets of the Masters,” clearly had ran out of films he could make terrible sequels out of, and instead chose to make a terrible film based on two-dimensional 21st century hieroglyphics.

But Leondis had already proved he was a failure multiple times over through his body of work, The Razzies were essentially made for him. But for the slew of voice actors, it’s a critical blow to each and every one of their reputations.

The “Worst Screen Combo” award was given to “The Emoji Movie,” attributed to “any two obnoxious emojis.” This is a cast built on people with established careers including T.J. Miller (“Deadpool, “Silicon Valley”), James Corden (“The Late Show with James Corden), Maya Rudolph (Saturday Nigh Live, Bridesmaids) and Patrick FREAKING Stewart (Star Trek: The Next Generation).

But any one of them paired with any of the others is either annoying, cringe-worthy, uncharismatic or any combination of the three. The majority of the film puts Miller (Gene, the “meh” emoji) with either the stereotypical newfound best friend Hi-5 (Corden) or with the stereotypical love interest Jailbreak (Anna Farris).

At no point does it feel like any of the characters have any chemistry. It could be assumed that the voice actors recorded themselves in different recording studios in different countries months apart from each other from how distant their connections feel.

“The Emoji Movie” was the pinnacle of bad cinema for the year, but the Razzies still had time to take a few shots at some other awful performances. In a hilarious repeat offense, Tyler Perry received a second “Worst Actress” award for “BOO! 2: A Madea Halloween,” but wasn’t bad enough to take the title of “Worst Remake, Rip-Off, or Sequel,” which was given to “Fifty Shades Darker.”

Tom Cruise received an award for his performance in “The Mummy,” likely for being the biggest underperformer of the year rather than the biggest loser as the Razzies’ “Worst Actor.” “Worst Supporting Actor” and “Worst Supporting Actress” went to Mel Gibson for “Daddy’s Home 2” and Kim Basinger for “Fifty Shades Darker” respectively.

Is this the last time that “The Emoji Movie,” and its peers will be flaunted for their ineptitude? Probably not, but is it well deserved? Almost certainly

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The Emoji cleans up at Razzies