Even with low expectations it's still disappointing
It's difficult to know exactly what you're allowed to expect from a Smurfs movie.Suffice to say, even with expectations set to the lowest notch on the scale, it's near-impossible to make it much more than half an hour into the movie before any vague curiosity value or childhood reminiscence gets utterly drained, and you're left clock watching your way to the conclusion. If you've already endured the first movie then, no doubt, you will be both at an advantage from knowing what to expect.
Although perhaps at a disadvantage because there won't be any curiosity/reminiscence threshold left second time around.This one takes the same Smurf Village / New York crowd and transports them to Paris to confront the evil Gargamel, who has a dastardly plan to kidnap Smurfette, convert her to the dark side, and then coerce the secret magic Smurf juice formula out of her.
Obviously those who enjoyed the first movie will be the ideal customers to return for more, but even they may well find that any semblance of magic in that opening gambit has been long lost here in this predictable, formulaic jaunt, which even has the gall to use the Parisian setting as little more than an excuse for a single effects-driven ‘flight’ around the hotspots.
The live-action cast are largely disappointing, and the voice actors do little more to stand out – Neil Patrick Harris appears to have lost his mojo and Brendan Gleeson is truly slumming it, whereas Katy Perry’s focal position as Smurfette still doesn’t give her any room for distinction, and Christina Ricci’s evil sister is just as unexceptional.
This is one of those kids’ movies which not only has next to nothing in it for adults, but also feels like it probably won’t be all that interesting for kids either!
Certainly the best thing about this insubstantial kids’ animation is Hank Azaria’s dastardly Gargamel, making me wonder why they didn’t just do a spin-off movie focussing on him. Indeed even adults will probably think that this sequel may not actually be that bad when they see Gargamel’s magic show intro, wooing Parisian crowds with his over-the-top turn-men-into-frogs magic shows – which nobody realises are, of course, real. Unfortunately Smurf Village takes things down a notch – aside from Smurfette and Papa Smurf, they’re all just too bland and indistinctive – and the trip to pick up the New York live action crowd just seals the fate of this picture.
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