Jack Bool reviews: The Smurfs 2


- Credit: Archant

From Raja Gosnell, the legendary director of classic films like: Beverly Hills Chihuahua, Scooby Doo, Big Momma's House and Home Alone 3, comes the latest big screen adaptation of yet another eighties cartoon, The Smurfs 2.

When your filmography is as bad as Raja Gosnell's, the question I want answering is this. How do you still manage to find work? Essentially, every single film he's directed has been the subject of a critical onslaught. All you have to do is look at the films I listed above, to get a clear indication as to the crimes this man has committed against cinema. But nevertheless, despite the negativity surrounding his career, The Smurfs film released in 2011, grossed well over half a billion dollars at the worldwide box office. What can you say? Release a kid's movie, during the summer, in 3D and you're onto a winner, especially if it's based on something that parents will feel slightly nostalgic towards.

Following on from the events of the first film, The Smurfs are casually going about their everyday lives, with the evil wizard Gargamel now reaching celebrity status, as a world famous illusionist. However, in the midst of all this, Smurfette constantly questions her past, after she has visions of where she originally came from. This sparks off a chain of events that ultimately result in Smurfette being kidnapped, which then leads to the Smurfs having to embark on a rescue mission to Paris, in order to bring her back.

If like me, for some strange reason you decided to watch the first Smurfs film, I'm pretty sure we can all agree that it was smurfing terrible. In fact, it's probably one of the worst films that I have ever seen. It's just a complete an utter monstrosity. So going into the sequel, understandably expectations were exceedingly low. As I expected, this sequel is better than its predecessor, but it's nearly impossible to spawn a film as bad as the first. So to summarise it, The Smurfs 2 isn't as bad as The Smurfs, but that's not saying much, as this sequel is still indefinitely one of 2013's worst films.

Now, I would love to come out and say that The Smurfs 2 had absolutely no positive aspects, but that would be unprofessional. So instead, I will complement the film on its animation, as it somehow manages to integrate the colourful characters into a realistic setting, without making them look completely out of place.

The acting and voice cast are perfectly fine. Nobody stands out in particular, but everyone offers a good turn, even though it's evidently clear they've all shown up for an easy paycheque. But, Hank Azaria does appear to be having fun as the pantomimic villain, Gargamel, resulting in what could be the best thing about the entire movie.

Nevertheless, despite two positive aspects, the remainder of the film is just atrocious. The jokes are horrifically bad and the number of Smurf related puns, just because tiresome once you've heard one for the twentieth time, inside ten minutes of the film opening. It's littered with auto-tuned pop songs, that have just been added to make an extra buck for its equally poor soundtrack album and there is absolutely nothing here whatsoever for anyone over the age of five.

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However, one thing that I really disliked about The Smurfs 2 was this. Instead of allowing it's demographic to come up with their own interpretations regarding the message of the film, instead the film continuously throws the message of 'family' at the audience, time and time again until its mentally installed in your brain. The film basically does the thinking for you. It's not as thought provoking for younger audiences, as let's say, for example, Toy Story or Finding Nemo.

The Smurfs 2 is a smurfing waste of time. Very young children will probably enjoy it, but adults will want to head for the exits as soon as it starts. Avoid it like the plague.


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