Movie Review: The Emoji Movie (PG)
It is the worst-reviewed movie this year, with critics attacking it with the poop emoji at worst and feeling "meh" at best.
But the latest animated comedy to sell the "be yourself" message really isn't that bad.
Taking place in Textopolis, a world inside a young boy's smartphone that is inhabited by emojis, Gene (T. J. Miller) - who hails from a family of "meh" emojis - is ashamed that he has multiple facial expressions while everyone has only one role to play. And so he embarks on a quest to fix his malfunction in order to fit in.
Sure, The Emoji Movie is a goofy knock-off of Inside Out, but it is also harmless family entertainment.
There are worse ways to pass 92 minutes, like being glued to your smartphone.
Smiley faces all round for the cheeky references (emoticons are "the elderly", the least-used emojis are relegated to the loser's lounge) and gags involving real-life apps such as Instagram, YouTube and Spotify.
Overall, it is more thumbs up than down.