The Smurfs Movie Review

A simplistic approach means that this charming adventure-comedy will only appeal to very young children. While it's lively and enjoyably silly, there's just not enough wit in the story or characters, nor enough skill in the animation.

Life is idyllic for the tiny blue Smurfs, whose village is hidden from view in a European valley. But the evil-but-hapless wizard Gargamel (Azaria) wants to capture their magical essence and, when he finds their village, he chases six of them through a vortex that dumps them into Manhattan. Lost in the city, the Smurfs befriend Patrick (Harris) and his pregnant wife Grace (Mays), whose help they need to both escape Gargamel and regenerate the vortex to get home.

Meanwhile, Patrick's under pressure from his boss (Vergara) to come up with an ad campaign.

Pretty much everything in the script is pasted in from other children's movies, including manic action from Home Alone, sight-gags from Toy Story and overexcited human-animation interaction like the Chipmunk movies. The comedy is broad and obvious, focussing on slapstick pratfalls and corny jokes, especially where Azaria's zany baddie is concerned. Although at least there are a few clever visual jokes, and the human cast is engaging.

It also helps that we don't have to keep track of all 101 Smurfs; these six are much more manageable, given lively voices by Winters (Papa), Yelchin (Clumsy), Perry (Smurfette), Cumming (a bizarrely Scottish Gutsy), Lopez (a bizarrely Latino Grouchy) and Armison (Brainy). And at least the screenwriters make amusing references to the similarities to the Seven Dwarfs, plus the slightly creepy fact that Smurfette is the only female in the village.

But there isn't nearly enough of this knowing humour to keep adults interested.

Every plot point is so obvious that there's never a moment of suspense, and the trite moral (about being true to your heart) is sickeningly sentimental.

Meanwhile, the animation is colourful and energetic, although it sometimes looks done on the cheap, as Gargamel's cat sidekick only occasionally resembles an actual cat, and the Smurfs look like plastic toys (merchandising alert!).

It's no wonder that Gargamel wants to melt them down.

Comments

The Smurfs Rating

" Weak "

Rating: U, 2011

Advertisement

More Neil Patrick Harris

5 Things You Need To Know About 'American Horror Story: Freak Show'

Three ten second teaser trailers of the upcoming season of American Horror Story: Freak Show have been released and the next round of the hit...

Neil Patrick Recalls Falling In Love, And How Sleeping With Women "Unsettled" Him

Neil Patrick Harris's career is at an all-time high, as well as winning a Tony Award for his role in 'Hedwig and the Angry Inch,'...

Ryan Murphy Has A Role Neil Patrick Harris Would "Love" On 'American Horror Story: Freak Show'

Could Neil Patrick Harris be heading for American Horror Story's Freak Show? Ryan Murphy certainly seems willing for the How I Met Your Mother actor...

Delving Into The ‘Gone Girl’ Trailer: Ben Affleck, Neil Patrick Harris And Many Unanswered Questions

Ben Affleck’s latest movie Gone Girl doesn't hit cinema’s until October, but that hasn't stopped us from already getting excited. In the thriller Affleck plays...

Advertisement

Gone Girl Trailer

Nick Dunne finds himself at the fore of a police investigation when his wife Amy mysteriously goes missing on their fifth wedding anniversary. He has...

Everything You Need To Know About 'Gone Girl' Starring Ben Affleck and Neil Patrick Harris

The first full trailer for Gone Girl, starring Ben Affleck and Neil Patrick Harris has just dropped and it looks suitably enthralling. The thriller, based...

Andrew Rannells To Replace Neil Patrick Harris In 'Hedwig And The Angry Inch'

Tony nominee Andrew Rannells is set to replace Neil Patrick Harris as transgender singer Hedwig in the Broadway production of Hedwig and the Angry Inch....

Neil Patrick Harris And 9 Other Actors Who Donned Drag For Roles

So, Neil Patrick Harris basically won the Tonys 2014 (the whole thing) with his performance of "Sugar Daddy" from Hedwig and the Angry Inch. Harris...

Advertisement