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To 3D Or Not To 3D: Buy The Right Emoji Movie Ticket

The Emoji Movie Smiler showing off the board

We're at the tail end of summer, but there's still one last potential blast of 3D fun to send us into the next season. Get ready to dive head first into your smartphone, as The Emoji Movie has hit theaters! The world inside your phone looks pretty dangerous, with as much peril as there is excitement. But of course, with any blockbuster of this caliber, there's that age old question that needs to be answered: to 3D or not to 3D?

Now if you're looking for what we thought about the movie, you'll want to read our proper review here. But if you're looking to see what we thought of the 3D-enhanced version of The Emoji Movie, you're app the right place. Phone puns aside, it's time to slip on those infamous black glasses and see if Sony Animation's latest is worth the extra 3D money.

In terms of having a story to tell in 3D, The Emoji Movie definitely has an adventure that could make a proper 3D conversion worthwhile. The world of a smartphone, with its various apps and what have you, should be an easy fit for a third dimension roller coaster ride. With firewalls, data streams and anti-virus bots chasing our heroes, this movie should be a pure delight in the right hands.

As good of a prospect The Emoji Movie's 3D version poses to its audience, it sadly falls short of the mark by quite a bit. For an animated movie that could have taken full advantage of the medium, the film doesn't put in enough work to justify the extra expense. The dimness of the picture takes most of the steam out of the third dimensional experience, with the depth and projection of the images failing to make for a spectacular time.

With a madcap adventure of destruction and adventure, a film like The Emoji Movie would typically throw everything it could at its audience. Alas, there are only a couple sequences that really project anything past the window of 3D separation. These select sequences are scattered through the film, which leaves most of the film firmly in place on the screen. Even those individual pieces of assets crossing the 3D window are fleeting at best, with only a little flinching involved.

While there's some good spatial reasoning between characters and their surroundings, the backgrounds of The Emoji Movie are positively flat. As such, there's not a tremendous amount of depth to the picture that's being presented to the audience, which is really a shame, as there's a lot of potential with the location of Textopolis and its surrounding environments. Though there are a couple of sequences that flash some depth-enhanced thrill, with travels through the data stream and a poignant Instagram set sequence throwing in a little more flash than the majority of the film.

The good news when it comes to the brightness of The Emoji Movie is the fact that it's not dim enough to totally ruin the picture quality of the film at hand. However, the really bad news is the fact that when you put on your 3D glasses, there's a significant dimming of the picture's color content. Your mileage may vary with this factor, as theaters don't always properly calibrate their rigs as they switch between 2D and 3D presentations. That said, this film's brightness severely impacts the viewing experience.

The one really high mark that The Emoji Movie manged to score for itself was due to the fact that the film does have a good bit of blur to its picture. Usually this would be a sign that the depth of the 3D picture is up to snuff, but somehow this is the exception to the rule, as there's a lot of blur in both the background and foreground of the film's images. So if you take your glasses off for a 3D break, don't be surprised if you start to see double.

Sometimes fast paced imagery and panning shots can effect the eyesight of the audience viewing a 3D movie. The Emoji Movie is a good example of this fact, as it wonks the eyes out on several occasions when it tries to go for the wide scoped action shots. To make matters worse, the dim quality of the 3D picture does wear on the eyes, leaving the audience in need of relief from the oppressive dimness of the film's visuals. You won't get motion sick, but your eyes will definitely feel the strain.

The Emoji Movie isn't worth the 3D ticket price, as it presents a perfect storm of mediocrity. The 3D visuals don't pop like they should, and even where they do the darkness of the image is still something to contend with. This is too colorful of a movie to be as washed out as The Emoji Movie presents itself, so if you're compelled to see it, go for the more traditional 2D viewing.

Click to visit our full To 3D Or Not To 3D Archive.

Mike Reyes

CinemaBlend's James Bond (expert). Also versed in Large Scale Aggressors, time travel, and Guillermo del Toro. He fights for The User.