The Smurfs

Rated PG 102 minutes 2011

This could’ve been a cute movie, but director Raja Gosnell (the cinematic criminal behind atrocities such as the Scooby-Doo movies and the first Big Momma’s House) has made a loud, annoying mess out of the Smurfs story. When Gargamel chases after a bunch of Smurfs, they travel through a portal and wind up in modern-day Manhattan, where Neil Patrick Harris awaits. Rather than venturing out and taking in the city, the Smurfs spend the film bitching about going home. One would think a Smurfs movie would be cute and cuddly, but this features a lot of screaming, some annoying slapstick, and Hank Azaria embarrassing himself under a lot of makeup as Gargamel. I did like a few moments with Azrael the cat (a well-done special-effect combo of a real cat and CGI), and some of the 3-D imagery is pretty when the movie slows down—but that’s about it for good parts.

Film Credits

Official Site: www.smurfhappens.com

Director: Raja Gosnell

Producer: Jordan Kerner, Ezra Swerdlow, Ben Haber and Paul Neesan

Cast: Hank Azaria, Neil Patrick Harris, Jayma Mays, Sofía Vergara, Tim Gunn, Jonathan Winters, Alan Cumming, Katy Perry, Fred Armisen, George Lopez, Anton Yelchin, Kenan Thompson, Jeff Foxworthy, John Oliver, Wolfgang Puck, Gary Basaraba, Paul Reubens, B.J. Novak and Frank Welker

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