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THE SMURFS (2011)

>> Saturday, July 30, 2011

So, what do you get when you mix modern CGI with a classics children tail and the theory that if you can, maybe you should? You get a hunk of good intentions called The Smurfs. You also get somebody like Neil Patrick Harris to try and make it better. News flash folks, it's not NPH that does the writing - nor can his scrawny frame carry the weight of twenty years of childhood nostalgia and expectations. But then again - I'm not sure who could.


As more movies like The Smurfs continue to come out, a better idea comes to mind. Why not just leave well enough alone? Not only have the Smurfs told their numerous stories through the original show, but it's highly unlikely we need another 'wacky character caught in New York' story. Frankly, if you are going to make a Smurfs movie, why not keep it in the same environment that made the original so successful? Was there really no other story you could have told? Could there not have been more drug references? Did this have to be a kids movie when the generation it belongs to is now aged thirty or higher? I think if the studios wanted a film people would be raving about, they should have upped the ante here and made it more mature.

The basic story here is that The Smurfs are chased by Gargamel into a vortex that transports them to New York City. There the Smurfs meet Patrick (Harris) and Grace (Jayma Mays) who help them out by giving them a place to live until they can find their way back to the Smurf Village. Meanwhile, Gargamel is out to find them because, well, that's what he does. Also, he needs them so he can start up his own cosmetics company and take over the world - nope, I didn't make that up. But thankfully, the Smurfs will lend their helping hand to assist Patrick in coming up with a new ad campaign. One that'll undoubtedly represent his best wishes and intent - and not the interest of the people who are paying him (because his bosses are evil you see). Essentially, it's all a bunch of believe in yourself bullsmurf.

If there was any redeeming quality in this movie it was Hank Azaria who plays Gargamel. You could tell both him and Harris knew this movie was shit, so they decided to ad lib whatever they could get away with and have fun with The Smurfs. Yes, this movie is also kid friendly and colorful so I'm sure anybody under five may have a smurf of a time watching the film. Anybody with the brain of somebody a little more mature might giggle at some of the quips but will be bored by the unoriginal storyline.

I am giving The Smurfs a big BLUE closed door, because feeling blue can be a bad thing - despite the film's opening message. But let's be honest - there were very few people who knew this would make a good movie, even with the blue buzz around this thing. Although I've yet to see it, if you want a movie your child will cherish (especially if it's their first movie-going experience) I'd recommend Winnie the Pooh. From what I've heard, that's a movie to be proud of. New T-shirt idea: Go Pooh, Not Blue.

*Stills courtesy of Columbia Pictures

2 comments:

M August 11, 2011 at 12:34 PM  

I watched the movie this weekend and also give it a thumbs down. The main reason was that I watched with my daughter and the constant changing of the f word to Smurf wasn't fun to watch. Seriously "Smurf you" "Smurf off" "I smurfing love you" gives new meaning to my daughter when they also mix in "Smurf the whole day long" in the song or "I smurf you".

With out all that it would have been a fine movie for me.

Angry Charlie August 12, 2011 at 6:20 AM  

That's an interesting observation and I couldn't agree more. For somebody younger that doesn't know the different connoations for a word like 'smurf' I can see how it might affect the way they use and/or think about it. They'll get their chance to maybe smurf up their act thought - a sequel was just announced. However, I'm guessing that doesn't mean the vocabulary will change...

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