How can you not like Smurfs, whose sole reason for existence is to live a peaceful life full of fun, dancing, singing and love? Not to mention that they live in cool mushroom houses in the forest and all wear the same outfit. If you’ve wondered what those little blue creatures have been doing since the first film, you can rest easy, as life in the Smurf village has been Smurftastic. I’m sure the only reason we have a sequel is because the first movie made almost $560 million. With this outing, you can expect the same visual pleasantries, but beyond a couple of lines of dialogue that garner a chuckle, I don’t see unimaginatively-titled ‘The Smurfs 2’ playing to anyone over the age of five.
As I said, life is going very well in the Smurf village as everyone prepares a giant surprise celebration for Smurfette’s birthday. However, Smurfette herself (Katy Perry) thinks that the other Smurfs have forgotten her special day. As she questions her own creation, she begins to think that she doesn’t belong with the Smurfs, but rather with her creator, the evil and dim-witted Gargamel (Hank Azaria).
Meanwhile, Gargamel now lives in Paris with his cat Azrael, and is a beloved magician in the city, playing to sold-out crowds every night. Little does anyone know that he has a sinister plan to kidnap all the Smurfs to steal their essence, which will make him more powerful so that he can rule the world. To do this, Gargamel creates two other Smurf-like creatures called Naughties. One is Vexy (Christina Ricci), a mix between a goth girl and a hipster, and the other is Hackus (J.B. Smoove), a red-haired Irish Smurf who could double as a beach bum. The two Naughties travel to Smurf village, capture Smurfette and bring her to the real world. Soon afterwards, Papa Smurf (Jonathan Winters) follows after them with Grouchy (George Lopez), Clumsy (Anton Yelchin) and Vanity (John Oliver) to save Smurfette. As you’d imagine, this team of Smurfs ends up enlisting the help of their Earth friends Patrick (Neil Patrick Harris) and Grace (Jayma Mays) once again. But this time around, Patrick’s stepdad Victor (Brendan Gleeson) is there to help as well.
One of the only decent things to come out of this sequel is Gleeson, who seems to give it his all in a comedic role, whereas the other actors seem bored to be there and are underused, with the exception of Azaria’s kooky sorcerer. It’s a shame, as Neil Patrick Harris is a multi-talented guy who can sing, dance and has great comedic timing, but here, he seems to be a robot. Oliver’s voice for Vanity gets the most laughs, even if his jokes are told over and over again throughout the movie, which is a common problem amongst all the characters this time around. Ricci and Perry do solid jobs, but J.B. Smoove playing an Irish Smurf killed me. This was Jonathan Winters’ last film, and he adds a warm and nostalgic feeling with his charming voice for Papa Smurf.
The look of the film is very pleasing with bright colors and tons of things happening on every part of the screen. The camera flies through building structures, makes a slapstick candy store scene fun, and swoops around a giant runaway Ferris wheel in Paris. That being said, the visuals are almost undone by the horrible music selections, which might only excite an 11-year-old girl. The 3D is quite terrible too. The backgrounds in the movie that were supposed to add depth don’t, and instead come across very blurry and flat, as well as produce a double image.
Even if you enjoy the Smurfs, this sequel might leave a sour taste in your mouth.