Sunday, April 26, 2015

A Smurfectly treacly sequel

Smurfette (Katy Perry), and Hackus (J.B. Smoove) in "The Smurfs 2." (Sony Pictures Animation)
Smurfette (Katy Perry), and Hackus (J.B. Smoove) in "The Smurfs 2." (Sony Pictures Animation)
About the movie
The Smurfs 2
Genre:
Animation; Comedy; Family, Children's
MPAA rating:
PG
for some rude humor and action
Running time:
01:45
Release date:
2013
Rating:
Cast:
Sofia Vergara; Jayma Mays; Brendan Gleeson; Jonathan Winters; George Lopez; Katy Perry; Hank Azaria; Christina Ricci; JB Smoove; Neil Patrick Harris
Directed by:
Raja Gosnell

Get yourself into a Smurfy frame of mind, hum a few notes of "The Smurf Song," and try to remember your cartoon-watching primary-school years. Cross your fingers that actors Neil Patrick Harris, Hank Azaria, Jayma Mays, and Brendan Gleeson will find something funny to do.

Never mind. Filled with Smurf wholesomeness, Smurf puns, and posi-Smurf messages about never giving up "on family," The Smurfs 2 still sucks Smurfberries.

Gargamel the Smurf-hater is now a big-shot magician, filling venues around the world. But the wizard (Hank Azaria, who never lets us see the boredom) is running out of Smurf Essence for his shows. As he preps for his Paris Opera House debut, he conjures up a couple of Naughties (voiced by Christina Ricci and J.B. Smoove), who Smurf-nap Smurfette (Katy Perry) from Smurf Village. She knows Papa Smurf's magic formula - a little enhanced interrogation by Gargamel and his digital cat (the movie's best effect) and it'll be "Smurf-a-geddon."

"Oh, the Smurf-anity!"

More coverage
  • Video: It’s Britney, you little Smurfs!
  • 'Turbo: Fast, colorful, so-so kids' stuff
  • Katy Perry Wears Blue at Smurfs Premiere
  • Unless Papa (the late Jonathan Winters) and his motley "B-team" (voiced by George Lopez, Anton Yelchin, and John Oliver) can stop them, with the help of their human friends, Patrick and Grace (Harris, Mays) and Patrick's clumsy, pushy stepfather (Gleeson).

    There are five credited writers in this retread, and the best line sounds as if it was improvised by Lopez, as Grouchy Smurf: "Every time a Smurf toots, somebody smiles."

    The puns are feebler ("I was Meryl Smurfing Streep in there!"), the animation is passable, the special effects are quite good, and the 3-D is utterly pointless. But if your tiny-tyke target audience has to see something, at least it's harmless.

    And if Harris isn't getting better offers in between sitcom seasons and Tony Awards shows, and he's got to perform blue material to get by, he could do worse.

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