The Smurfs 2: Film Review

The cute little blue Smurfs are back in action. This time rescuing Smurfette from the trap of the evil sorcerer Gargamel in the beautiful city of Paris.

The Smurfs 2 is a sequel to the animation/live-action hybrid movie, The Smurfs that released in 2011. The movie starts with a dream, a prologue to Smurfette’s birth and present day identity crisis. As the lone female Smurf in the mushroom-abundant Smurf village, she feels that she doesn’t belong to the true-blue clan. It’s Smurfette’s birthday and all the cute-as-a-button smurfs are busy preparing for a surprise ‘Happy Smurfsday’ party, but she feels everyone has just forgotten her special day.

Meanwhile, evil and scheming Gargamel (Hank Azaria) has turned into an internationally famous celebrity owing to his witty Youtube video. Dissatisfied in spending most of his time entertaining people in Paris, Gargamel is running out on his only source of magic – ‘Smurf Essence’. He is also dissatisfied with his failed experiment – the grey-skinned smurfs called ‘Naughties’. To execute his dream to dominate the world he needs to get his hand on Papa Smurf’s secret spell to create the ‘true-blue’ smurfs. Hence with the help of Vexy (Christina Ricci) and Hagus (J.B. Smoove) – the Naughties, they abduct Smurfette (Katy Perry) in order to get the secret spell to make his experiment successful.

What follows is Papa Smurf (the late Jonathan Winters) along with Clumsy (Anton Yelchin), Vanity (John Oliver), and Grouchy (George Lopez) travel inter-dimensionally to reach their real world friends Patrick Winslow (Neil Patrick Harris), his wife Grace Winslow (Glee famed Jayma Mays), their son Blue and and his stepfather Victor Doyle (Brendan Gleeson) in New York. Together they go on a quest to Paris to rescue Smurfette.

With a major plot and several subplots, the movie deals with questions like: Will Smurfette be rescued on time? Will Naughties turn good or remain the way they were created? Will Smurfette’s identity-crisis be solved? Will Patrick make peace with his loving yet enstranged stepfather, Victor? And the most important of all, Is a Smurf’s butt blue? The Smurfs 2 provides answers to all the aforementioned questions, but for that, one needs to watch the film.

The Smurfs 2 has put together several contemporary elements, blending perfectly. From the trending Youtube video of Gargamel, Azreal (the cat) having its own Facebook page to Gargamel going tech savvy with a ‘Sony’ tab to keep records and maintain his daily affairs. Yet another present culture imbibed in the movie is Blue’s birthday cake – “an organic, gluten and dairy-free, antioxidant-rich, acai-berry cake made by a local baker who swears he’s never even seen a peanut.” The other aspect of the movie is the emotional bonding between the relationships especially a father-child relation depicted through various characters and different phase of the same. The plot dwells on the concept of unconditional love, forming the crux of the movie.

Though the movie had a handful of witty, silver-tongued humorous dialogues and situations but it couldn’t add the wow factor  to the otherwise sweet and simple yet unfunny movie. Talking about the 3D and CGI aspects of the movie, except for a few scenes, the technology just added zilch to the movie. For example, the scene where the Narrator tells the story to other Smurfs using a 3D friendly, pop-up fairytale book, has an enriching effect on the storytelling session. There were few more exceptional scenes where the 3D aspect was phenomenal but the entire movie couldn’t carry out the proper use of 3D/CGI technology, adding no significant depth to the movie.

Based on the comics of Belgian artist Peyo, The Smurfs 2, like its predecessor keeps moving on its own pace and brings out the beauty of Paris, revolving around Notre Dame cathedral and the Eiffel Tower. Talking about the actors, the flesh and blood characters were sidelined considerably in this sequel. The buck-toothed evil wizard Gargamel played by Hank Azaria has  once again gleefully over-hammed.

Though a bland, lifeless story, The Smurfs 2 is not entirely terrible family entertainment flick. Mainly meant for kids, one can enjoy the movie with their little ones.

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