It's hard to go wrong when you have solid source material. And while, arguably, The Smurfs
was never the action-filled, mind-blowing storyline directors drool at the chance to film, it was also full of possibilities for the creativity-lacking Hollywood. And with such popular source material, coupled with good animation and strong actors and voice actors, you would think that 2011's The Smurfs
would be at the very least enjoyable. But you would be wrong.
So very, very wrong.
Directed by Raja Gosnell, who also directed 2001's Scooby Doo
and 2008's Beverely Hills Chihuahua
, The Smurfs
is essentially what would happen after Enchanted
and Alvin and the Chipmunks
got a little too drunk and frisky underneath the sheets. The Smurfs find themselves chased by the evil wizard Gargamel (Hank Azaria) and his cat Azrael into a completely new territory... New York City. Surprise, surprise. There they meet (or accidentally crash the apartment of, as it were) Patrick Winslow (Neil Patrick Harris) and his expecting wife, Grace Winslow (Jayma Mays), who must help the Smurfs get back home, and avoid being destroyed by Gargamel. There's a few moments of having morals being shoved into your face involving Clumsy Smurf and Papa Smurf too, but those are merely puddles in a vast sea of obnoxiousness.
This film had the usual flaws in a kiddie flick: bad writing. ...except this time it was really
bad. Remember the 'Smurf' language? Replacing a few words, or parts of words, with 'Smurf'? Right. A bit of that can be cute, maybe even charming. But when your ears are barraged by a Smurfalicious pun every 2 seconds, you find yourself compelled to take the gum from the bottom of your seat and shove it so deeply in your ears that you will have to later pay a drunken hobo to fish it out with a rusty fish hook. There was never
a moment of silence when the Smurfs themselves were on screen. For example, when they got onto a taxi whilst trying to find Clumsy Smurf, they ALL
had to make some remark. One after another. Which dragged an already boring action into an even longer boring action, now with low calorie bad joke dip. I was also perplexed by how all over the place Smurfette's character was. She had seriously no set personality, unless she was severely bipolar and had several split personalities (one of them being apparently lesbian, thanks to a few off-color comments she made during the film)
I have to give some props to the actors though, especially the live action ones. They obviously tried their very best to make the best of what they had to work with. I swear, if not for some of Neil Patrick Harris's expressions and gestures, and Jayma Mays way of fluctuating her voice just slightly to portray an emotion (and that girl's voice is adorable, bro), I would not have made it through the film. I also really liked how Azrael was animated (...edited?). There was so much movement and life in that cat. 8I
But hey, my views might be overly biast. According to my dad, I went to the bathroom (and quickly checked my messages in the hall... and tried calling my driver's instructor... and texted) during the best part of the film. Woops. Couldn't have been that good though, since it is INCREDIBLY rare for me to get so bored of a film I chug down water just for an excuse to take a break.
Overall, if I were you, I would just stare at a wall for 82 minutes instead of spend $10 on The Smurfs
. Or hey, you could rent Alpha and Omega
, which looks like Finding Nemo
compared to this film. Really. The little kids in the theater didn't even laugh too much. (There was this one 30 year old guy who was laughing super hard in the back of the theater, but it's more likely he was examining his fingernails than laughing at the film.)
-giggles maniacally at her new bottlecap necklace making crap and begins sketching herself a design-