Smurfs; those lovable, blue, mushroom-dwelling gnomes (…?) bring back happy childhood memories of peanut butter sandwiches and blissful ignorance. Children of the 1980’s will find it hard to resist taking their own kids to see a movie showcasing these heartwarming creatures from their past — but parents beware. These aren’t the Smurfs you’re looking for. Feeble puns, a poor script, and a terrible attempt at interjecting adult humor makes The Smurfs 2 suck smurfberries.
Gargamel has become an international sensation as a magician in the real world. However, nearly all of his magical feats are powered with Smurf essence – something that he is quickly running out of. He creates a pair of “Naughties” – Smurf-like creatures made from clay – in the hopes of harnessing their essence, but quickly realizes they aren’t the real deal. He sends the Naughties Vexy (Christina Ricci) and Hackus (J.B. Smoove) to smurf-nap Smurfette (Katy Perry) and force her to give up the recipe of the secret potion Papa Smurf used to change her from a Naughty into a Smurf. Papa (the late Jonathan Winters), along with some less than helpful Smurfs, must rescue Smurfette before she gives up the recipe, which would allow Gargamel’s plan of smurf-ageddon to become a reality. They enlist the help of their human friends Patrick (Neil Patrick Harris) and Grace (Jayma Mays) to navigate the streets of Paris and stop Gargamel before it’s too late.
It has been a long time since I’ve seen a movie with so little to offer. The plot lacks progression, rather, recycling ideas and blunders in place of new events or revelations. Humor is poor at best, relying heavily on physical gags and poor usage of the word “smurf”, that produces sighs and eye-rolling rather than laughter (“Smurf-holm Syndrom”, “Holy smurf!”, “Son of a smurf!”, “I was Meryl smurfing Streep in there!”, etc.).
For a kids flick that credits a team of four writers, there sure isn’t much to show for it. The plot drags, the the dialog is cheesy and boring, and the over-acting from everyone involved in an attempt to salvage the script is nauseating. It’s not a huge surprise The Smurfs 2 is terrible. All one has to do is look at director Raja Gosnell’s filmography: Home Alone 3, Scooby Doo and Scooby Doo 2, Beverly Hills Chihuahua and of course The Smurfs. It doesn’t take a genius to realize that The Smurfs 2 will follow suit.
One redeeming quality is that the animations are relatively smooth and convincing, especially for the young ones. Unfortunately, the 3D aspect is entirely unnecessary, using it primarily for slow motion gags of Smurfs flying at the screen with stupid faces on. It is cause for adults to question Sony Pictures’ choice to make it 3D – was it to make the movie ‘more fun’, or simply to gain the extra couple bucks per ticket? I firmly believe it’s the latter.
There are plenty of shining family-movie examples out there that The Smurfs 2 should have taken cues from. There really is no excuse to make a kid’s movie that is exhausting for adults and barely laugh-worthy for young children. Save your money – rent it if you must – but please don’t encourage Sony to make a third installment of one of the worst family movies in the history of cinema.
I give Smurfs 2 1 Star out of 5