Who's In It: Neil Patrick Harris, Hank Azaria, Jayma Mays, Tim Gunn, Sofia Vergara, and the Voices of Jonathan Winters, Alan Cumming, Katy Perry, Fred Armisen, George Lopez, Anton Yelchin
The Basics: That pesky Gargamel just won't let a rivalry die, and even after all these years is still determined to capture Smurf essence and use it to do something nefarious. He thought he had them cornered in Smurf village, but when a portal opens up to New York, some Smurfs escape his clutches. He follows them in the hopes he can snatch them in the Big Apple. What he didn't count on was that smurfy goodwill that would convince ad exec Patrick (Harris) and his pregnant wife Grace (Mays) to intervene and put a hitch in his plans.
What's The Deal: No amount of putting "smurf" into normal words could make this movie interesting or cute. As per usual, I kept an ear out for what the children in the theater found funny, and the biggest laughs were Gargamel falling into a pile of garbage bags and Clumsy falling into the toilet. Those were the two big moments, and I'm convinced that the small giggles I heard during the other 84 minutes of the film were brought on by kids fooling with their parent's cell phones. For me, obviously far past the target Smurf demographic, the crowning achievement of the film is when Elway the hound dog beats a bass drum pedal with his paw. I also really enjoyed Narrator Smurf. So adults, you can count on tuning this one out.
Sorry, Peyo: Admittedly, the original Smurfs cartoon doesn't age particularly well either. Once you're old enough to have had sex or done drugs, the Smurfs loses a lot of its appeal. However, even watching the old cartoons (which I immediately did after seeing the film, for research purposes) prompts at least a faint amount of laughter and fondness. They are simple and elegant, starring funny little blue folks whose names make character development unnecessary. This movie lacked inventiveness and never felt fun. The performers in it are doing their best, and I send out sincere condolences to Hank Azaria, who desperately tried to make the film watchable. It didn't work, Hank, but I did enjoy watching you walk dramatically through steam pockets in New York.
Imagine The Possibility: When pointless movies like this come out, I can't help but wonder what these talented artists could have been doing besides earning this paycheck. The Smurfs are really cute and their eyes are creepily lifelike, which means I could have just looked at stills of the film while listening to the last Katy Perry album for a much more desirable effect.