"The Smurfs" We are so smurfed!

Bitter, Bitter Balcony, Movie Review, The Smurfs 2011J. David Stem,David N. WeissRaja GosnellNeil Patrick Harris,Jayma Mays,Anton Yelichin,Hank Asaria,Kate Perry,Alan Cumming Bitter,Bitterometer,meter The Smurfs(2011)

This smurfing smurfed project was probably smurfed from inception, but I’ll be smurfed if I ever have to sit through it or a smurfing sequel ever smurfing again.

Ok, now that we’ve got all that smurfing bull-smurf out of the way we can move on with the review. You can assume that we judged this movie in advance. Unprofessional, sure, but the minute our asses hit the seats we were open to whatever strange surprise we’d get. Were we surprised? You bet your smurf we were, only for reasons we didn’t think.

The story is about Gargamel and his obsession over getting the Smurfs, so he can grind them up and turn them into some powerful juju. Fair enough, he wants to be the most powerful and boring wizard in all of… wherever they live. The Smurfs run away once discovered during a blue moon (sigh) and have to jump into a mysterious vortex to evade Gargamel and Azrael. The Smurfs end up in New York, which sounds like a brilliant (as in terrible) idea. Neil Patrick Harris, somehow begging for film work already, runs into the Smurfs and helps them in the process.

The story is not a good one, though I’ll give it a compliment for it’s very Greek reason why Smurfette exists. The screenplay moves along fast enough, so you don’t get terribly bored while watching it. Hey look, a compliment… No, not really. The truth is that when the expectations are so low there is nowhere to go but up and it doesn’t go that direction. It stays just about three apples high and never budges. Johan (NPH’s character) has some sort of terrible revelation whilst helping the Smurf’s that feels forced. The Smurfs in New York idea was bad enough, but somehow seemed like the least of this film’s problems.

The acting department is where the real issue starts (and where our surprise that shouldn't be a surprise happens). Hank Azarea proves yet again that the man can’t be in a feature film and not suck if his life depended on it. Surprise! Don’t get me wrong, I believe Azaria is a talented guy, but he always seems to overdo it. The scenes with Gargamel are so painful that it makes the rest of this film seem halfway decent. Sure, that feeling is a lie, but that’s how bad his performance is. Everyone else does whatever they do well enough to earn their checks, just barely.

I felt quite blue that this movie was made and that Raja Gosnell was chosen to direct. In a perfect world this would have been a straight up 3D animated movie and it would have been fun, if not cheesy, to watch. The movie sucks primarily because it has no idea what it wants to be. It wants to be a kid’s movie, but it isn’t. It wants to be a comedy, but it isn’t funny at all. Naturally, to think that this could be a serious film is just silly.

With any luck this will be the first and last attempt Hollywood will make to ruin yet another ‘80s franchise we know and love, but we are getting a “G.I. Joe” sequel, so prove of hell on earth is just a ticket purchase away.

On a side note… Hollywood, don’t you DARE touch the “Snorks”. They are cheesy as hell, but one of the few unscrewed childhood memories I have left.

On yet another side note... It's sad to see such a talented cast, voice and not, make such a lame movie (Jeff Foxworthy and Kenan Thompson excluded of course).


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