The Smurfs 2 (D)

This movie is a steaming pile of smurf.  

Parents, I understand the temptation to go see this dreck.  It’s summer, and this flick seems like an easy way to murder a few hours while boosting your own popularity with the kids.  As you sink into your cushy, theater seats and savor the popcorn and air conditioning, you’ll think you made a wise choice.  But, then as the seconds turn into minutes, you will be hit with the dawning realization of what you have done to yourself.  Watching The Smurfs 2 is like spending two hours wiping up a giant puddle of chunky, blue vomit.

The Plot.  Smurfs 2 focuses on Smurfette (Katy Perry).  The lone girl smurf among dozens of males (creepy!), Smurfette gets kidnapped from smurfland on her birthday by the evil wizard Gargamel (Hank Azaria).  Gargamel needs smurf “essence” to take over the world, and Smurfette has the magic recipe.  Gargamel relies on his pale minions, the “Naughties” Vexy (Christina Ricci) and Hackus, to seduce Smurfette to the dark side.  In the meantime, Papa Smurf (Jonathan Winters) tries to rescue Smurfette with Vanity Smurf (John Oliver), Grouchy Smurf (George Lopez), Clumsy Smurf and some human pals – – Neil Patrick Harris, Jayma Mays, and Brendan Gleeson.  Will Smurfette turn evil or will she stay true to her smurfy goodness??  Who cares?!!  Honestly, after an hour of this shlock, I was hoping Smurfette would turn cannibal.

This movie lurches from cloying sweetness to snarky humor to fart jokes and back again.  As the lead human, Neil Patrick Harris wanders through the film with a dyspeptic look on his face, mirroring what most parents will feel watching it.  The pace and editing are frenetic, with the filmmakers jumping quickly from one bad scene to another.

I will grudgingly admit that there are some people who will like this movie.  It will be catnip to: (1) adopted kids and kids with step-parents (the movie’s core message is that you fully belong to the family you choose and that chooses you); (2) fans of travel porn (the film showcases Paris); and . . . ugh, I hate to say this . . . kids under age 10.  This movie is playful and has no scary bits; so it is safe for little ones.  But, parents, please don’t do this to yourselves! 

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