The Smurfs

PLOT (spoiler alert!!!):

The Smurfs get ready for the Blue Moon Festival. In his home, Papa Smurf sees a vision of the Smurfs in cages, Clumsy Smurf holding a dragon wand, and Gargamel being powerful. He refuses to allow Clumsy to pick Smurf Roots, but Clumsy disobeys Papa Smurf and does it anyway. However, Gargamel and Azrael see him and follow him into the village. The Smurfs all flee, and Clumsy runs into a forbidden cave. Papa Smurf, Smurfette, Grouchy, Brainy and Gutsy notice this and hurry after him. They find him at the edge of a cliff, and while trying to help him up, they are sucked into a gigantic vortex, leading to New York City. Patrick and Grace, a married and expectant couple and their Basset Hound Elway, befriend them and allow them to stay in their apartment.

Papa Smurf learns that he will be able to get them all home in a couple nights. But first, he must figure out the spell to do so. Patrick tells them that there is an old book store in the city, and they head there to get a spell book. After lots of searching, they find one of their own comic books, containing the spell. Gargamel hears where they are, so he sneaks into the book store and finds a dragon wand, which he then steals. He uses the dragon wand to abduct Papa Smurf. The Smurfs promise Papa Smurf that they won’t try to save him. However, Clumsy stayed behind with Grace and Elway, so he plans a rescue, along with Patrick, both having not made the same promise the other smurfs made to Papa Smurf. The other Smurfs agree to help. Meanwhile, Gargamel is going to remove the “Smurf essence” from Papa Smurf and charge it into the dragon wand, which would make him more powerful than anything else in the world.

Patrick and the Smurfs battle Gargamel while Smurfette fights Azrael and saves Papa Smurf. They, too, join the fight. Also, Brainy reads the spell and opens up the portal, allowing him to go home and round up his friends. Gargamel captures Papa Smurf again and throws him into the air, but Patrick catches him. Right before Gargamel can destroy them both, Gutsy knocks the dragon wand out of his hand. Clumsy tries to catch it, and Papa Smurf believes that he will fail, but, much to everyone’s surprise, he manages to catch it. Without his dragon wand, Gargamel is powerless, and Papa Smurf destroys the wand once and for all, and the Smurfs return home safe and sound. Patrick and Grace have a baby boy, whom they name Blue to honor the Smurfs, and the Smurfs rebuild their houses to look like what humans have

REVIEW:

Anyone that grew up in the 80s surely remember how popular the Smurfs were. I can remember waking up early Saturday mornings just to watch them. I think we all saw this coming, especially after the success of Alvin & the Chipmunks, but the question is…did they do them justice with this big screen feature?

I think the first think that should be noted here, is that, unlike most films of this nature, there are no kids, or young people for the Smurfs to play off of, with the exception of random kids down the street and then the toy store scene. For some reason, I think they would have worked better with a child present.

Then again, who says they needed to be brought into our world? Seriously?!? Why do we always have to bring these characters here. Is there something wrong with just making a film that keeps things the way they are in the source material? I see no reason why a film with Gargamel chasing them around the Smurf Village and forest wouldn’t have worked just as well. If they must add “star power”, then create some random villagers or something. Did these people not watch the cartoon?!?

That point aside, this film actually was pretty enjoyable. For the most part, the Smurfs were…well, the Smurfs. Something I did notice, though, was how this was marketed as a kids/family film, but there was some questionable content. It was almost as if this was aimed more for those of us that grew up with the Smurfs. They really need to make up their mind who they were marketing this towards.

Released in 3D…you know what that means, right? People shelled out extra money for some fake sunglasses to watch a film in a darkened room and supposedly be blown away by things flying at them from the screen. Truth be told, with the exception of the credits, I didn’t see anything that would have been worth paying the extra $$$ for.

This story left a bad taste in my mouth. Not because it was bad (or good), but rather because the whole fish out of water thing has been done so many times in films of this nature that it just seemed to be a recycled plot device, which it is, unfortunately. They didn’t do anything with the story to make it memorable.

The humans are just that. I swear this is the most unlikable character Neil Patrick Harris has ever played, but the problem is, he isn’t the villain…just the husband.

Jayma Mays is even more of total sweetie than she in on Glee, and those mannerisms work very well for her here as the pregnant wife. Not to mention the bond she forges with Smurfette is a true highlight of the film.

Even as a bitch, Sofia Vergara is nothing short of delectable, luscious, busty, Latina glory. I only wish she would have had a bigger role.

Hank Azaria didn’t sell me as Gargamel. Sure, they may have made him look the part (I think they could have done a better job with the costume), but something, I can’t put my finger on it, wasn’t quite right.

The voice casting for the smurfs worked for the most part. Jonathan Winters, who actually played Grandpa Smurf in the cartoon was almost perfect as Papa Smurf, what with his aged wisdom and sage advice.

Katy Perry as Smurfette. Who would’ve thought she’d be as perfect. Of course, I could have done without that “I kissed a smurf and I liked it” line.

Fred Amrisen as Brainy and Anton Yelchin as Clumsy also were the perfect pairing, but I do have issues with a couple of the smurfs.

First off, George Lopez as Grouchy. *SIGH* This just didn’t work. I don’t know why everyone is so high on putting George Lopez in every voice over role suddenly, but this is one he should not have done. Nothing against the guy, it just didn’t work.

Alan Cumming as Gutsy Smurf. My problem with this is that they basically created a smurf that does the same thing as Hefty, for the most part, so they could be more “marketable”. That being said, Cumming does a great Scottish brough.

I have to wonder why this was called The Smurfs when it seemed as if it was centered all on Clumsy. The others were just supporting characters. Even in the first scene, it is almost all about Clumsy. I wasn’t particularly a fan, sorry.

The CG of the smurfs wasn’t bad, actually. I think there may have been some height issues. I think the actual description of the smurfs is 2 apples high. At times, they looked the part, and then at times, they looked shorter. That could very well, have been my eyes playing tricks on me, though, so don’t quote.

Azrael, Gargamel’s cat, had the sounds from the cartoon and the personality for the most part, but if they are coming from a fantasy world, and little blue people, why can’t they have made a CG cat that looked more like Azrael, rather than use a real cat with CG facial expressions?

So, what is my final take on The Smurfs? Believe it or not, I really did enjoy this picture, even though I bemoaned it when it was initially announced, and even more so when the first trailer was released. Every now and then a film comes along that is a total surprise, just look at how good Yogi Bear was. That being said, it appears as if this is the first in a trilogy. My personal thoughts are that this is a mistake. A while ago I saw commercial for the third Alvin & the Chipmunks movie which looks really bad…can we say “cash grab”? Let’s hope the smurfs don’t fall into that trap. If they do, though, you can always look back at this film as some high quality family entertainment that is sure to bring back some nostalgic memories of Saturday morning cartoons.

4 out of 5 stars

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2 Responses to “The Smurfs”

  1. […] Plot. Say what you will about this film and the fact that you can’t really do much with the Smurfs, the writers actually did give us a decent plot. I seem to recall an episode where Smurfette questioned her origin, and I think they built upon that for this film, keeping the continuity from The Smurfs. […]

  2. […] the barely-there characterization and irritating cutesiness of The Smurfs and Jelly Jamm with the hideous character design and awful pop covers of Strange Magic” 3 […]

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