Blue-coloured tiny magical creatures, called Smurfs, are being hounded by an evil magician, Gargamel. On the night of the blue moon, a few Smurfs accidentally enter a portal and come to New York, followed by Gargamel. What happens next? Read the entire review of The Smurfs to find out.
Business rating: 2/5 stars
Star cast: Hank Azaria, Neil Patrick Harris, Jayma Mays, Jonathan Winters (voice), Katy Perry (voice).
What’s Good: The cute Smurfs and their eccentric English; the superior quality of animation; the performances.
What’s Bad: The simplistic story that will appeal only to the kids; the absence of laugh-a-minute comedy and heart-rending emotions.
Verdict: The Smurfs is a good fare for the kids and, at best, it will do average business at the Indian box-office.
Loo break: Hardly any.
Watch or Not?: Watch it for the cute Smurfs and the performances.
Columbia Pictures, Kerner Entertainment Company and Sony Pictures Animation’s The Smurfs is a live action-animation film which tells the story of blue-coloured, tiny and magical creatures called Smurfs.
The Smurfs, numbering thousands, lead a cheerful life in the middle of a magical forest, protected from the outside world by a layer of invisibility. Their only fear is the evil magician, Gargamel (Hank Azaria), who, along with his clever cat, has been frantically hunting for the Smurfs. Gargamel plans to extract the ‘blue essence’ from the Smurfs, so that he can make his magic work.
On the night of the blue moon, when the Smurfs are busy with their celebrations, Gargamel stumbles into the Smurfs’ village. The Smurfs, led by Papa Smurf (voiced by Jonathan Winters) put up a strong fight against the evil magician and his cat. When cornered by Gargamel, a few Smurfs – Papa Smurf, Clumsy Smurf, Smurfette, Brainy Smurf, Grouchy Smurf – escape into a magic portal that takes them to New York. Gargamel and his cat follow them.
In New York, the Smurfs find shelter in the house of marketing executive Patrick (Neil Patrick Harris) and his pregnant wife, Grace (Jayma Mays). While Grace instantly bonds with the Smurfs, Patrick – who is having a hard time at his job because of a demanding boss (Sofía Vergara) – is rather irritated with them and their happy ways. Grace wants Patrick to be good to the Smurfs, but the tiny creatures only end up cooking Patrick’s goose.
In the meantime, Gargamel manages to extract a few drops of the potent blue essence from a few strands of Smurf hair that had been chewed on by his cat. With the help of the essence, he also gets dangerously close to capturing the Smurfs.
Soon, the Smurfs figure out a way to get back to their village. But before they can leave, Gargamel manages to capture Papa Smurf. What happens next? Are the Smurfs able to escape? Does Patrick help the Smurfs, as desired by his wife? What about Gargamel and his cat? The rest of the film answers these questions.
The Smurfs Review – Script Analysis
J. David Stem and David N. Weiss’ story is rather simplistic. The Smurfs, based on original characters by Peyo, are cute. However, these attributes will appeal mainly to the kids in the audience only. There are a few light-hearted moments (especially when the Smurfs talk in their eccentric English, using the word ‘Smurf’ as an alternative to many other words), but again, the kind of comedy will appeal to the kids only. The screenplay writers (J. David Stem, David N. Weiss, Jay Scherick and David Ronn) should have made the few emotional scenes there are – like when the Smurfs find themselves lost in the big, bad world, or when Patrick realises his mistake – more touching. Overall, the writers have maintained a very cheerful mood throughout the narrative, something that will get on the nerves of the adults. In fact, even the villain, Gargamel, bumbles in his villainy, and is mildly funny.
The tiny Smurfs are named after their occupations or their proclivities. Hence, their strange names – Clumsy Smurf, Grumpy Smurf etc. Clumsy Smurf is shown to be the underdog, who finally emerges as the hero. However, so tiny and incidental is Clumsy’s final feat that his heroism leaves little impact. In the midst of all the Smurfs, it is Gargamel’s cat which turns out to be the most memorable character in the film. The climax is action-filled and well-choreographed.
The Smurfs Review – Star Performances
Neil Patrick Harris delivers a fine performance as Patrick Winslow. Hank Azaria does just good job as Gargamel. Jayma Mays (as Grace) and Sofía Vergara (as Patrick’s boss) support well. Jonathan Winters (as voice of Papa Smurf) does very well. The rest of the voice cast – Katy Perry (as Smurfette), Fred Armisen (as Brainy), George Lopez (as Grouchy) and Anton Yelchin (as Clumsy) – also performs rather admirably.
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