Sometimes despite your best efforts a movie you just know is going to be an awful experience is somehow worse than you imagined even though you tried to talk yourself into thinking it might not be so bad. “Oh, this actor and/or actress is in it. Hopefully I’ll still be able to enjoy their role in this monstrosity,” is what you say to yourself. It turns out to be all for nothing and even though that person you admire is in it, you’re just left wondering why they’re a part of something so horrendous to begin with. The Smurfs is such a movie and I can almost guarantee you that you haven’t seen anything as bad as this all year.
The smurfs live in Smurf Village in another universe where magic actually exists. These little blue creatures are about seven inches tall that can sing, dance, talk, live in mushrooms, and are massively annoying all day long. The evil wizard Gargamel (Hank Azaria) is obsessed with capturing the smurfs in order to obtain their essence to become the most powerful wizard in the universe. During the festival of the blue moon, Clumsy (voiced by Anton Yelchin) accidentally leads Gargamel to Smurf Village. Amongst the confusion while they’re fleeing Gargamel’s onslaught, they accidentally stumble onto a portal to our universe as Gargamel follows in hot pursuit. Unfortunately for them, our moon never turns blue so they must rely on the assistance of Patrick (Neil Patrick Harris) and Grace Winslow (Jayma Mays); a couple who’s expecting their first child and who are going through some troubles of their own.
If you weren’t a fan of the original Smurfs cartoon, then you probably won’t have any reason to actually sit through this thing. Speaking as someone who isn’t a fan of anything Hanna-Barbera related, taking one for the team or biting the bullet doesn’t even begin to describe the unfortunate displeasure I experienced throughout this cinematic miscarriage. The Smurfs does nothing but make a repetitive, never-ending effort to rub its audience nose in the fact that it’s trying to be cute. It can’t just show something cute and move on. It’s basically shoving cuteness down your throat without asking in a rather obnoxious and extremely forceful fashion.
As if purely tolerating these tiny, blue kumquats wasn’t enough, the movie makes it a point to rub salt in the wound before dousing it with lemon and plunging your exposed injury into a bucket of bleach. There’s a Rock Band scene where Neil Patrick Harris plays the game with The Smurfs and they decide to add their own lyrics to Aerosmith’s “Walk This Way.” Imagine the song with all the lyrics replaced with stuff about sunshine, kilts, intelligence, being angry, blue skin, and “smurf” every three words or so. I recommend not getting nachos before seeing this. You’ll want to pour the hot, scolding nacho cheese into your eye sockets just to make the torture on-screen be a little less painful.
Looking at the movie from a critic’s perspective doesn’t even help matters. It shows you all the main plot points in a vision Papa Smurf has at the beginning of the movie, so you basically know what’s going to happen long before you even get there. You probably already have a solid idea of what the movie is just by seeing the TV spots alone. There’s also another scene where Gargamel is in prison in our universe. He has a conversation with a moth. He doesn’t use magic as he doesn’t even have anything on him at the time other than an orange jumpsuit. He talks to this moth and convinces it to break him out of prison. How, you might ask? With about a million flies. Flies break Gargamel out of prison. All family movies have to include some sort of bodily fluid in them anymore. Crude humor is apparently the only way you can reach a younger audience these days. So I hope you like cat vomit and a grown man digging through a vomitous pile for a few strands of hair.
Is there anything actually decent about this movie? If you’ve read this far, you’re probably thinking that. There is, actually. The 3D effect is actually utilized really well. Smurfs are constantly jumping in your face and when they’re not random objects are flying at you thanks to Gargamel’s magic. There’s a scene at the very beginning of the movie where two smurfs are riding birds. That scene is pulled off incredibly well as the birds twist and turn in the air. The perspective, positioning of the camera, and the way we seem to follow their every move makes that thirty second sequence work really well. Neil Patrick Harris is probably the least offensive part of the movie, but that isn’t saying a whole lot. There’s actually some really talented people buried in the cast. Unfortunately they’re so smothered in smurfberries that you probably won’t even notice them.
The Smurfs is the first movie I’ve ever actually physically ran out of as soon as it was over. It is downright offensive with how cute and corny it is. With an overly predictable storyline, ridiculous plot points, and some of the lamest material to ever hit the big screen, anything remotely good in the film is immediately erased by the overwhelming wave of forcefed cutesy garbage. It’s like having an entire jar of Jet-Puffed Marshmallow Creme crammed down your throat. If you suddenly have the urge to see this movie, stay home and drink a bottle of Drano instead. I promise you’ll have a better time.
Sources: imdb.com, starspage.net