The Smurfs (2011)
What a smurfin’ terrible movie. This big screen debut for the little blue commune dwellers is a painful experience, magically transporting the little creatures to New York City. They find themselves in the care of Patrick (Neill Patrick Harris), an ad man who’s pretty much a jerk, especially to his doting, pregnant wife. At one point, in his ad man frenzy, he yells, “ I never wanted any little people running around here!” Oh no, what a bizarre outburst that somehow cuts directly to his fears of being a father. The movie spends so much time with the human characters, who are shrill, exasperating, and dull form the get-go. The comedy is a mixture of slapstick and insufferable kiddie wordplay, replacing “Smurf” for just about any word in a sentence for a miserable attempt at humor. It’s like the screenplay was a Mad Libs page (Am I being too generous crediting a whole page to the script?). The Smurfs is clearly designed for a 3D audience, hence there is crap flying at the screen at every turn. Yeah, another stupid thing thrown at the screen. Hank Azaria plays the thankless role of Gargemel, the man who created Smurfette (voiced, not too badly actually, by pop singer Katy Perry) but schemes to capture Smurfs for their… smurfness. I don’t know. If this guy could create his own Smurf, why doesn’t he just keep doing this? Instead, Azaria runs around New York speaking in an arch manner, falling down a lot. I suppose the real question is whether this piece of blue excrement could entertain children, its target audience. Perhaps the youngest of tykes will be tickled by the Smurf adventures, but I think most kids will be puzzled and bored and weirded out by the movie, wondering what they had done wrong to deserve watching this dreck.
Nate’s Grade: D