With the recent commercial success of such cartoon to real-life crossovers as “Alvin and the Chipmunks,” it’s understandable why properties such as “The Smurfs” would get the same treatment. However, due to the original content, “Alvin and the Chipmunks” or even “Garfield” work well in the real-life settings. “The Smurfs” not only fail to gel in the crossover, but the final product falls flatter on its face than trailers might indicate.
It begins with Papa and the rest of the Smurfs preparing for the Blue Moon Festival and everything is going great. That’s until the evil wizard Gargamel and his cat Azrael crash the party trying to capture the little blue beings. As in the cartoon, Gargamel is trying to extract Smurf essence from our friends, which give him the power to create unstoppable spells. While escaping, Papa and some other Smurfs have to go rescue Clumsy Smurf who clumsily went down the path of certain doom, instead of the path of super safety. At the end of the wrong path, the tiny protagonists get sucked into a portal that puts them smack dab in the middle of New York’s, Central Park. In pursuit, Gargamel and Azrael arrive in the park a few seconds later and the chase continues.
There’s no real good place to start with this hollow children’s film. Beyond the fact that the overly cartoonish (even for a cartoon-based movie) Gargamel doesn’t translate well on screen, there’s a laundry list of odd plot holes that are evident. The best example, aside from Papa Smurf needing to look at the stars to help figure out how they’ll get back home (a hard thing to do in NYC) comes in the form of Smurfette. Smurfette explains why she is the only female Smurf; telling how Gargamel created her to woo the other Smurfs so he could steal their essence. Based on what we see in the film, we know Gargamel can create magic from Smurfette’s essence. So if he created her, why doesn’t he just keep creating Smurfs and using them? Instead he pains himself with hunting them down and failing on an extraordinary level.
I know what you are saying, “But Matthew, it is just a kids movie.” It is, but the jokes were poor even on a slapstick level. The biggest laughs came from Gargamel abusing his cat and urinating into an ice bucket. Is it a kid’s film? Yes. But it’s also a bad film.The chances I was going to like ”The Smurfs” were very slim, but I held hope that maybe somehow they would pull out some Smurf magic and amaze me. Instead, the film is just a poor rip off of Don Bluth’s, “A Troll in Central Park,” and isn’t worth the price of admission.
Rating: 1 out of 5 ‘Staches