The Smurfs 2: Disappointing Revisit to Smurf Village
Brendan GleesonHank Azaria...
In 1 Cinema
It’s a terrible shame that these miniature blue-skinned creatures don’t get the same amount of love and praise as they did back in the day. If you had the privilege of growing up in the 80’s, after viewing The Smurfs 2 – a direct sequel to 2011’s The Smurfs – it will become clear that any resurgence of the franchise’s greatness is dead in the gutter.
Several years after the events of The Smurfs, and that rather harrowing expedition to New York, the little blue heroes have now returned to Smurf Village and are slowly settling back into their peaceful, happy world. With Smurfette’s (Perry) birthday coming up, the rest of the Smurfs are busy preparing for a big surprise party. Whilst she’s kept in the dark, her insecurities and anxieties grow, leading to recurring nightmares which make her question her very existence.
Paranoia takes over and she’s certain that everyone has forgotten her birthday and in her despair is kidnapped by one of bad-guy Gargamel’s (Azaria) new miniture creations, the Naughties – Vexy (Ricci) and Hackus (J.B Smoove) – through a portal that is created via the Eiffel Tower. The lab-savvy Smurfette is the only one who knows the secret formula for the Smurf-essence that Gargamel is desperate to get his hands on; as a celebrity in the human world, he needs the potion in order to keep entertaining the masses with his one-man magic show and, eventually, rule the world.
Papa Smurf (Winters), along with Clumsy (Yelchin), Grouchy (Lopez), Vanity (Oliver) and human friends, Patrick (Harris) and Grace (Mays), head to Paris in order to save Smurfette and bring her home.
No one, apart from Brendan Gleeson – who plays Harris’ loving yet extremely clumsy stepfather, comes out of this with his reputation intact. The Smurfs’ human pals, Harris and Mays, could have easily been cut out of the film altogether. Azaria, meanwhile, takes his character to the depths of cheesy Saturday-morning cartoons, while the voicing of the Smurfs, lacks any real character.
Directed by Raja Gasnall and written by a surprisingly large number of screenwriters, The Smurfs 2 makes one thing clear right from the very start; this is a movie made for kids and easy-to-ammuse toddlers. Despite being overloaded with messages about love, family and unity, its premise fails to offer anything to keep an adult audience entertained. With jokes including repetitive groin smashing and an endless amount of fart gags, the humour doesn’t exactly carry much wit.
On the plus side, using the Parisian landscape as the backdrop is both interesting and pleasing to the eye, as is the animation itself. However, once again, it’s another film that makes poor use of 3D.
Suffice it to say, The Smurfs 2 scores pretty low in the entertainment department. Disappointing, and utterly silly, this animation is definitely one to avoid unless you’re under the age of five.