What the Smurf.
Not every CGI children’s film is amazing. Just because the graphics are up to par and there’s a good message doesn’t mean anyone’s really going to like it. I mean, Planes had its issues, but there were still things in it that I could appreciate to a degree. At some point, I saw The Smurfs, but I never reviewed it…probably because I didn’t think it deserved a review. I just remember thinking the only thing that saved it from utter destruction was the inclusion of Neil Patrick Harris. Although he is also in The Smurfs 2, his appearance alone isn’t enough to save it.
Alright, let me try to explain this. Gargamel, as you probably know, is the main baddy of the series. He has the ability, don’t ask me, to create evil Smurfs called “naughties”. His first naughty was Smurfette (Katy Perry), whom Papa Smurf had reluctantly transformed her into a real Smurf – through love or something like that. Well, Gargamel’s new plan is to steal some more Smurf essence by forcing Smurfette to hand over the secret formula that turned her blue. While kidnapped, she meets her biological sister (again, don’t ask me) who attempts to teach her that blood means family. So the Smurfs ask for the help of Patrick (Neil Patrick Harris) and his family once more into retrieving Smurfette before their convincing nature gets to her first.
The film never really explains how Gargamel “creates” evil Smurfs. I mean, what, does he make them with play-dough or something? It doesn’t really matter, guys, because none of you will care anyways. Gargamel is probably the most annoying villain and actor to ever grace the silver screen. He is obnoxious, and maybe that’s the point, but it appears to me that he was made exclusively to make young children laugh. You know how people make funny faces and noises at babies to make them laugh? Imagine sitting and watching that for more than an hour and a half. It’s obnoxious. Also, there is absolutely no point to make his kitty cat sidekick CGI. None. I don’t know if it’s for laughs, but again, annoying. You can’t go full cartoon in a movie adaptation. Just because you make half of it live action doesn’t excuse the way it is made.
Let’s talk about the argument that this is a children’s film. Along with the Christianity defense in films, the Children’s genre is something I must fight with. Just because you call it a Children’s film doesn’t excuse it for being bad. Oh, well it has a good message. Take any movie, and it’ll have a good message, just not as loud and clear as a kid’s movie. What’s the message in this one? Blood doesn’t necessarily mean family, maybe a bit of temptation, and you are who you choose to be. The same message seen in countless other films, kid and mainstream alike. Kids will like it. Yeaaah, and kids will like anything, especially with lights and colors. They can stumble onto The Walking Dead and enjoy that just as much. Knowing what’s good and bad in the media is a learned tactic. The only thing a child walks away with is knowing if they’d want to see it again or not. What are they going to ask Santa for this Christmas…I don’t think it will be The Smurfs 2.
I find it hard imagining even a child wanting to see this film. For an animated film like this, that’s sad. The Smurfs 2 is a sad, pathetic attempt at a kid’s film, made solely to gain what money it could. The actors on screen didn’t even look like they were enjoying themselves. Neil Patrick Harris, who I like to see in everything, looked bored out of his mind in this film.