Director: Raja Gosnell
Cast: Neil Patrick Harris, Hank Azaria, Brendan Gleeson, Jayma Mays, Jacob Tremblay with the voices of Katy Perry, Christina Ricci, Jonathan Winters, Anton Yelchin, George Lopez, John Olivier and J.B. Smoove
It’s going to be a tough call but a line has to be drawn. For the first time, I am going to be speaking of a film which probably left me as disappointed as the uncooked pasta at your favourite Italian eatery. Not since RGV’s Aag did I see a watch a film which probably brought out the critical critic out me. But unlike Varma’s movie which still sends shivers down my spine, this movie does have some things to save its hide.
In the world of Smurfs, Smurfette (Katy Perry) is having nightmares about betraying her fellow Smurfs and turning them over to Gargamel to be captured. The rest of Smurfs are organising a birthday party for her but their act of hiding it from her is misunderstood to be indifference and dislike. On the other hand, her creator sorcerer Gargamel has become a hot shot magician in Paris but needs the Smurfs’ essence to become all the more powerful. So he sends his evil Smurfs Vexy and Hackus to bring Smurfette for the essence’s formula. They succeed. Now Papa Smurf along with some Smurfs go on a mission to get her back and they ask Patrick Winslow and his family consisting of his wife Grace, five-year-old son Blue and stepdad Victor Doyle to help them out. Patrick and Victor are not on good term. The rest of the film is about finding Smurfette and stopping Gargamel from achieving his evil plan.
It must have taken real efforts to mess up a family comedy which is an interesting mix of animated and real characters. To call this a genuinely bad film is impossible but there is absolutely little which can salvage it. Yes, there are quite a few moments of joy but they are not consistent. Such a pity! The pity also lies in the fact that the story is nothing great to talk about. Oh yes, there is a story but considering the build-up from the previous attempt and the fact that we have been witness to some fabulous animated films from Hollywood in recent times, The Smurfs 2 seems like being offered vanilla ice-cream after a super-duper sundae. Vanilla is good but we want more. Director Gosnell seems to have put just his heart in the film but a heart without the soul is no good. Throughout the film, there have been more than three occasions where I removed my cell phone to search for something worthwhile on the internet. And if you thought technically the film would make it bearable, think again. I have seen better use of the 3D technique.
But what saves the film from going totally down the drain are some neat acting and clever voiceovers. Brendan Gleeson as the fun stepfather with a heart of gold wins your heart along with little Jacob Tremblay who plays 5-year-old Blue. Hank Azaria as the evil sorcerer Gargamel is funny and evil at the same time. In fact, if I have to really watch the film again, I would watch it for Azaria. Amongst those who have provided the voices for the adorable Blue people, John Olivier as Vain Smurf is hilarious. And yes, the children did have a good time, if not great.
The film lasted for one and a half hour and that made it somewhat bearable. No, it was not a film to be thrashed out so badly. But the film has probably just some moments to recommend it to the viewers. Yes, you can take your kids to watch it. But even they must seen better films.
Photo credit: wallchips.com
Director: Raja Gosnell