Cert: U Runtime: 103 minsDirector: Raja Gosnell Cast: Hank Azaria, Neil Patrick Harris, Jayma Mays, Jonathan Winters, Anton Yelchin and Katy Perry
Oh… my… Smurf
As a child of the 80’s The Smurfs was an important part of your TV schedule, Pappa Smurf with his 99 sons and 1 daughter battling against Gargamel week in week out it was smurftastic. Now The Smurfs have been brought to the big screen thanks to CGI and also in 3D for this summer, I thought I would go and re-kindle my childhood. The plot is simple, when the evil wizard Gargamel (Hank Azaria) chases the tiny blue Smurfs out of their village, they tumble from their magical world and into ours – in fact, smack dab in the middle of Central Park. Just three apples high and stuck in the Big Apple, the Smurfs must find a way to get back to their village before Gargamel tracks them down.
“The Smurfs” is not a terrible film, but it is just bad. The movie fails at almost every level. While I was watching the film, I found several mistakes that made the movie almost very hard to sit through.The first problem I had with the movie was that the story was wretched. We’ve seen the scenario done better in other films, mainly time travel movies, where the main group of characters are from one time period and end up in the future. Now Hollywood is doing this with the Smurfs? You’ve got to be kidding me.The second problem that I had with the film is that the casting was just poor. For the live-action part, Neil Patrick Harris was not convincing and not believable as the main lead human character. For the animation segments, George Lopez and Katy Perry did not fit their roles as Grumpy Smurf and Smurfette. In fact, the writers of this film actually managed to sneak in a line from one Katy Perry’s songs “I Kissed a Girl” making an obvious pop culture reference that we do not need.
The third problem that I had with the film is that if you look at the animation done on the Smurfs on a TV, it looks pretty good. But when see the animation on the big screen, it looks kind of creepy. In fact, Raja Gosnell, the director behind 2002’s “Scooby-Doo” adaptation, and its squeal “Scooby-Doo 2: Monster’s Unleashed”, could have done a better job at directing this movie.But my main problem with the film is the pacing. At 1 hour and 33 minutes, the movie felt very quick and almost jumbled in some areas; this holds true especially at the middle of the film. “The Smurfs” had a serious editing problem. If the movie had been shortened by 10 minutes, then it would have worked.Speaking of things working, is there anything that I liked about the movie? Well, I did enjoy the opening scene showcasing the Smurf village. I also liked Jonathan Winters’ performance of Papa Smurf, being that his was the most believable of all the Smurfs. But the big positive note that made the movie work was Hank Azaria’s performance as Gargamel. His acting in this movie was bad, no doubt about that, but it was so funny to watch you can’t help but laugh at it. Other than that, “The Smurfs” really has nothing going for it. Overall, “The Smurfs” is a poor effort from Hollywood to cash in on a valuable franchise. To me, there wasn’t enough potential to keep me interested. As far as summer movies go, this one smurfed up big time.4.0/10