Sunday, August 14, 2011

REVIEW: The Smurfs in 2D

The Smurfs

Neil Patrick-Harris,
Hank Azaria


July 29, 2011

Raja Gosnell

Columbia Pictures

1 hour 43 minutes



For this review exclusively, I will try to use the word "smurf" as frequent as I can, so please just stay with me on this.  First off, why the smurf did I even bother to see this dumb looking kids movie?  Well for starters, I was bored and had nothing else to do.  Second, this movie garnered a sequel deal, which sparked my interest.  And third/the most important reason, I wanted to see this film for the review.  It's my job to tell you whether or not this is worth the ticket price and a trip to the movies.  To make things more interesting, I decided to attend a 2D showing of this movie rather than a 3D show so I didn't have to pay a $3.00 smurfcharge.  As shocked as I am to say this, and I will never say this sentence in public ever in my life, I had a smurfing good time with this movie.  Sure there were many cliche`s and this was aimed directly towards little kids, I, along with many parents in the audience really enjoyed 'The Smurfs.'  This may be the best live action/CGI hybrid film since the original 'Alvin & the Chipmunks,' a kids movie which I happen to enjoy.

In a different world lies a hidden village where the magical Smurfs live.  Though living in happiness and peace, the smurfs have one enemy: the evil wizard Gargamel.  When Gargamel discovers the hidden village, the smurfs accidentally are transported into our world, more specifically New York City.  So the smurfs who, with the help of their new friends Patrick and Grace must get back home to their beloved village before Gargamel captures them all and takes over the entire world.  Pretty complicated plot, right?  Well considering the fact that this is a kids movie from the director of the 'Scooby Doo' films and 'Beverly Hills Chihuahua,' this isn't a hard plot to follow at all.

As much as I thought I was going to be annoyed by the little blue creatures, I surprisingly wasn't at all.  As expected, they say the word "smurf" with everything they say.  I was surprised how well it blended into the movie itself.  The film knew how to work around that and just entertain the kids and adults in the audience.  The only thing that may get in the way of your movie experience when seeing the smurfs is the fact that its in 3D.  I chose not to see it in 3D because my sister, who saw it before me in 3D, said it wasn't worth the ticket and added nothing to the movie.  If you were to see this movie in theaters, choose the cheaper and more comfortable way of seeing it in 2D, rather than with the extra dimension.

Getting back to the characters, Neil Patrick-Harris and Jayma Mays play their parts nicely as the couple of people who help out our little blue people.  They're not great in the movie, but they do bring out more humor than Jason Lee did in the 'Chipmunks' movie.  In terms of live action characters, the best one out of the four main leads is Hank Azaria as Gargamel.  Even though he can be repulsive at times, like you didn't see that coming in a kids movie, Azaria really knows when to make the dumbest things funny.  If anyone watches the Disney show 'Phineas & Ferb,' then you may be able to see a close resemblance in character to Dr. Doofenshmirtz, except the only differences are that Gargamel is a wizard and he has a cat.  Azaria stole the show as he does in almost every single one of his movies.  The other live action actor who has a role in this movie is Sofia Vergara of 'Modern Family, who plays Patrick-Harris' boss.  While she isn't as funny as her Gloria character, she does bring in a couple of funny lines that make the audience laugh.

Director Raja Gosnell may not be a fantastic director, but he does know how to entertain a family looking for a movie to see.  Sure, he made the terrible 'Beverly Hills Chihuahua,' but he also made family hits like the 'Scooby Doo' series and the original 'Big Mamma's House.'  This film won't appeal to those looking for a smart and witty Disney film, but it will appeal to those who are going into this accepting the fact that they're going to be watching a movie about miniature avatars in New York City.  This movie is everything that 'Mr. Popper's Penguins' and 'Zookeeper' should have been.  If you're family is looking for a sweet and funny summer treat, then you may just want to sing a happy song with those tiny little smurfs.


Spy Kids:
All the Time in the World

Johnny English Reborn

Puss in Boots

The Muppets

Arthur Christmas

The Pirates:
Band of Misfits