Hello, Spongey here. Welcome back to to Toon’d out Month 2!
2007 was quite a year, wasn’t it? Not only did Transformers make a big splash, but so did many other live action adaptions for kids. Movies like underdog, and alvin and the chipmunks, both of which made big bucks. Alvin especially made a shit load of money, which meant studios were now buying up an old cartoon, as fast as they could.
They did this before in the 90’s and early 2000’s, but 2007 started a new era of annoyance for live action adaptations. Which leads us to today’s film, based on The Smurfs.
The Smurfs started out as a Belgium comic strip, created by Peyo in 1958. It was about a squint hidden village of blue midgets who were somehow named after their personalities. They are lead by papa smurf, who has opened many debates about his status.
There’s also Smurfette, but let’s not open THAT discussion, as plenty of jokes have been made about her already. Far off from the village is the evil wizard Gargamel. Gargamel is absolutely obsessed with the Smurfs and his main goal vacillates from trying to eat the Smurfs to trying to capture them to use in a potion to make gold.
Oh, and they say smurf for every smurfing word. Also, they did zombies before George romero did.
In 1981 it was made into a cute cartoon, which caught on like wildfire. So it only makes sense that they;’d turn it into a cash grab- I mean movie.
It had 4, count them, 4 writers, 2 of them wrote the rugrats movie, which is promising. …but one of them wrote zookeeper, which is less promising.
So let’s not beat around the bush, cuz this isn’t exactly a good film.
This, is The Smurfs
The movie opens with a narrator, voiced by Tom kane. Tom has done a shit ton of voice work, I notice. Including monkey fist on kim possible, the professor on powepuff girls, and darwin in the wild thornberrys. I would bash him for being here…but here’s the best part of the movie.
The narration itself is typical, telling about how happy the smurfs are, but it works in a weird way. This takes us into smurf village, which is mostly animated, and thus , is the best section of the film.
the smurfs themselves are animated well, and it seems like they got the spirit of the cartoon right. Yeah, that’s not gonna last long.
The narrator goes to talk about the smurfs each have a place in the village…and then one smurf runs by…narrator smurf.
Okay…that’s pretty funny. …i’m a sucker for a good narrator joke, okay?
That smurf, was Clumsy smurf, voiced by Anton Yelchin his parents must have really hated him…or papa smurf. Whoever names these guys. Can you guess what his character arc is gonna be?
The smurfs are getting ready for the blue moon festival, and they are rehearsing for it, but they won’t let clumsy in.
we also meet Grouchy smurf, brainy smurf,. And gutsy smurf. Grouchy is voiced by George Lopez, Brainy is Fred Armisen and Gutsy is alan cumming. Alan, you again?! First Son of the mask, now this?
Also, yes, all the smurfs are as one dimensional as their names imply. And with a whisk of the narrators voice, we get this.
I thought the production values would be a bit better..
nah, that’s just a playset made by our live action villain,. Gargmel, played by Hank Azaria. Damn it, him AGAIN?! Happy feet 2, hop, this…he’s the villain in two of those. And…this is his best role, of those.
HF 2 is the best of those films sadly, but seriously, I LIKED him in this movie. He captures gargmel to a T, for the most part. As shown in this scene.
“i’m the head of a small group of blue people and live in the Forrest with 99 sons and one daughter. Nothing weird about that”
lampshade hanging?! This movie may not be so bad after all.
we see him doing a weird play with his cat Arazel (voiced by frank walker of course) and it’s a little funny.
Gargmel has plans to finally get the smurfs once and for all, but first he needs to actually…get to smurf village. So much for an all powerful evil wizard.
Oh, and the car lands on his face and..
“You’re a boy?”
this is gonna hurt.
With that, we return to the smurfs. We meet papa smurf, voiced by Jonathan winters. Oddly enough, he was in the cartoon, just as a different character.
Papa is practicing the dark arts in his ,cauldron as he sees a vision. He sees one of Clumsy Smurf reaching for a dragon wand and the Smurfs in cages while Gargamel laughs. This is so we can do the “vision guy tries to stop vision, but causes it anyway” cliché. Yay!
“papa, you’re smurf out of smurfers!”
get used to that. Get REALLY fucking used to it.
Clumsy wants to go pick smurf roots, but they are close to Gargmel’s castle, so papa doesn’t’ want him to do that. Wait, if Gargmel is so close to the village, why does he have a hard time getting there to do his plans? And why doesn’t papa use some magic shit to get the castle further away? This makes no sense!
But of course, he goes to pick some anyway. Our hero, ladies and gentlemen! He bumps into Gargemel, who gives chase.
during that, we meet smurfette, voiced by katy perry. ..weird choice, but whatever. Before we can character-ize anyone, Gargmel enters the village.
In the scuffle, clumsy sees a sign saying “This way” and runs ahead. Turns out, it says DO NOT go this way,
DIPPER: who writers sentences like that?!
“He’s headed for the forbidden falls”
of course. Papa Smurf, Smurfette, Grouchy, Brainy and Gutsy runs after him. This leads to said falls, and right to a big raging pool.
Clusmy falls in but grabs a branch.
“well, he’s gone. Let’s go!”
I concur. But nope, we must go on. The blue moon comes out, and then they fall into the portal it creates. Gargmel pops up, but they drop in before he can catch them.
So they end up on the other side of a waterfall, only to discover they are in…
our world. Oh god, really?! They are doing THAT plot? That been done, cliché as hell plot? Guys, this is where the movie goes way downhill.
Instead of actually faithfully adapting the source materiel, and putting them in a unique story, they put them in THE most cliché live action adaptation plot ever.
That’s the main problem with this movie. They take an old story, and do every cliché joke you could make with it. No originality here!
Ugh, anyway, ..
“where the smurf are we?”
Anyway, the smurfs run, and we meet out human main character-
…neil parrick harris? Really? You’re doing this? You couldn’t have done a GOOD movie? Geez, talk about wasted talent. Hell, check this bit from a How I met your mother episode..
“that’s friend do for each other.
“yeah, if you’re a smurf”
look who’s talking now, barney. Anyway, this is patrick-
and he’s an ad execute. Why of fucking course he is. There’s also his boss, played by Sofía Vergara. Yay, another repeat offender…who was also in happy feet 2.
he has 2 days to finish some ad or something. I don’t know, this is cliché enough without this bullshit. You know, this came out the same year as Harold and kumar 3, which had NPH doing much better comedy .i wish I was watching that…
now that Dr horrible is done talking, we can cut to the smurfs out in new york. Of course it’s new york,. And in movies, new york is just Manhattan. Oh, and gargmel is here now too, goody goody.
“We’re all gonna die!”
I never thought i’d agree with George lopez..
the smurfs hitch a ride on the top of Barney’s cab, and get away from Gargamel. So we take a trip through product placement city-i mean new york.
oh, and what’s being advertise on the top of the cab? Blue man group.
HAW. HAW. HAWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW!
And…there’s an ad for arthur christmas around too. WHY CAN’T I BE WATCHING THAT?!
COMMUNITY TOO?! Got remind me of much BETTER things I could be watching! Oh,. And I forgot to mention, clumsy ended up in a box Dr Blowhole was holding, so that’s why are stalking the music meister.
Neil heads home to see his wife, grace and do what husband/wife folks do In kids movie: talk about the wife’s pregnancy. They have banter, that is boring, no matter how charming NPH is.
Thankfully, a cut to Gargmel fixes that, as he hangs with his cat. Said cat spits out some of smurfette’s hair. Charming.
He needs a lab…and he runs into a porta potty. Oh yeah, “fish out of water” humor, how cliché, and unfunny of you, movie.
After…that, the smurfs continue to look for clumsy in neil’s apartment. Sadly the fish out of water humor doesn’t stop, as clumsy gets out of the box and explores the house.
Really, much of the movie is just the smurfs farting around, with little to say other than “it sucks”. That’s this review is taking me awhile to write, since this movie gives me little materiel when the plot isn’t happening.
When barney comes in hearing the noise, the smurfs hide in the box. He opens it, and thus, NPH meets the smurfs. Who need this crossover?
Oh, and clumsy fell in the toilet, where this movie belongs. So when the wife went to the bathroom, she also found a smurf. Cuz this is CGI hybrid kid’s film, the first thing the smurfs do is wreck the house.
This really is every live action adaptation cliché rolled into one. Anyway, Gargmel somehow finds a lab, and is able to get smurf essence in his magic ring, which he will use to capture them all. Sure, why not?
Back at the house, the smurfs calm down and explain what is going on, and make friends wirh neil and some lady from glee, aka the wife. Oh, and the smurfs some happy lala song, which I think only exists so katy perry could sing in the movie. And for something in the climax, but I digress.
While wife is busy having an all to happy reaction to weird blue people, neil is reacting like I would. He googes (PRODUCET PLACEMENT!1111) “smurfs” and finds out they are “mythical creatures. One the wikpedia link we see, it says a guy named “peyo” had a fascination with them.
…okay, that’s kind of clever.
“and you like to use the extremely imprecise term smurf for everything”
okay, that’s pretty funny.
“do you get your names after your born?
Hey, it’s my job to ask questions like that! They don’t even answer it though. Lame! Anyway, the smurfs are here until a blue moon, which papa smurf will help find with a potion.
“which seems completely plausible”
even in the smurf, neil is the most charming man in the world. Anyway, Gargmel is going around town, looking for the smurfs.
“is everyone in this realm completely insane?!”
sometimes, I think so. Then he thinks a bum is a wizard-
“OH MY GOD THIS IS THE GREATEST SPELL I’VE EVER SEEN IN MY LIFE!’
…no, not him.
So papa wants to make a portal to get them home. Also, I love how the idea of wearing more than one outfit amazes them.’
“I’m 546 years old”
“of course you are”
damn it Neil, stop being the best actor in the movie!
so neil and grace leave them home alone, since papa can take care of them fine. But, neil talked about his job, and “market predictions” so they think he’s a fortune teller. So, to find a stargazer, they must go to his place of business. Papa goes with this.
So much for that, eh barney?
But of course, they asks clumsy to stay, which bums him out. Yep, they are going for the screw up cliché, when the focus should just be on the “stuck in real world” crap. Two bad kid’s movie cliches for the price of one!
They jump on neil’s cab, which is now advertising blu-ray. HAW. HAW. HAAAAAAAAAAAAAAW.
When Barney gets to work, the smurfs talk to him, and he reacts badly to this. To please them, he takes them in. at his desk, he tells them he has no stargazer, so they gotta be quiet. But instead, they just sing.
“none of you find that song just the tiniest bit annoying?”
okay, why is the self aware awesome character doing in this lame-ass movie? Anyway, he has to focus to type out some message, and they suggest a “message”..
“I kissed a smurf and I liked it?”
GARGMEL” I love emerging thematically through the smoke.
Oh good, the other best character is back. He goes inside Neil’s workplace looking for the blue demons. But then he bumps into the boss, who is present some anti aging cream. Of course Gargmel thinks her “potion” has no power. So he uses his magic to make this woman younger.
…and she touches her new boobs briefly. You know-for freaking kids! Also, if he can do that, can’t he teleport the smurfs to him or something?
Boss lady is impressed, and wants Gargmel to help her business with his powers, promising him riches.
By the way, this bit? POINTLESS. This little plot thread has NOTHING to do with anything! So why is it even here? To pad this out to 90 minutes?
Back with Neil, the smurfs are annoying him as much as the audience,. At this point, NPH is the true hero. Why isn’t this about a guy getting rid of his annoying pests, instead of said pests getting home?
Oh, and Gargmel talks about killing the smurfs, and even asks for spikes to mount their heads on. Why is that the two characters were AREN’T supposed to sympathize with at this point are the most likable?
Anyway, Gargmel talks to boss lady over dinner about their plan to…do stuff, I guess. She’s reacting pretty well to the wizard, by the way.
oh, and a waiter carries some bucket thing…and gargmel mistakes it for a chamber pot. Ugh, now even the best part of the movie has gone downhill.
And no one reacts to a guy pissing in a bucket in public. For the the real world, this is pretty unrealistic! Anyway, Grace picks up, the smurfs but on the ride home, they run into a toy store hoping to find a telescope. Oh boy.
And to make it worse. Gargmel happens to be walking by and runs after them. And Grace has called Neil, so he’s here too. We get another scene of the smurfs just…doing shit.
One land in a bucket of M&M’s and thinks it is smurf shit. SERIOUSLY. Then he hits on a green m&M plus. THIS IS HAPPENING.
And it goes on a few seconds later, as that smurf just talks to the plush. I don’t get it, this isn’t funny! We also have kids mistaking them for toys, cuz toys walk and talk. Seriously, one even tells them to fuck off, and their reaction isn’t much.
But it does chaos running after a mere toy they want. Thankfully, Gargemel captures the love struck one with a leaf blower. He then bumps into Smurfette…
“ah Smurfette, more lovely than ever”
…my god, so that’s he wants to capture the smurfs. He doesn’t want to make gold out of of them…he wants a to bonk smurffete without any interference. IT ALL MAKES SENSE NOW!
Long story short, they stop him and escape. With his new telescope, Papa looks for a blue moon, while neil briefly works on a blue moon related side project, along with the ad. Also, Grace points out the fridge logic in there being only one female smurf/
“..I was created by Gargamel”
….ew! That makes it worse! This is from the comic/cartoon, actually. She was made by Gargmel as a way to spy on the smurfs, but papa used a spell to make her a true smurf, which sort of fucked up his plan.
So wait..HE CAN CREATE HIS OWN SMURF?! Why hasn’t he done that since!? Hell, he’s doing it in the sequel, so why he hasn’t he done this before? The smurfs make no sense!
They sort of leave it at that, though. So Neil sends in his ad, so he has to wait to find out if he’s keeping his job. On top of that, the smurf must wait for papa to make a spell.
Then they all play guitar hero. SERIOUSLY The smurfs are playing guitar hero. PRODUCT PLACE-oh fuck it.
SKIP. So neil’s ad gets approved. SUPSENSE. So the smurfs have to stay for the night, and they mourn the fact that they can’t go home yet. This is another cliché bullshit “sweet’ moment, and I can’t quite get into it. But…it’s more sweet than any scene in alvin, so there.
They talk the smurfs they miss.
“I’ll tell you who I don’t miss…passive aggressive smurf”
heh, that’s funny. Barney and Papa bond and have another forced “moment” as papa mourns his situation as well. They bond, as neil doesn’t feel he’s ready to have a kid, and papa has 100 of them. It’s just more forced, cliché bullshit, and not even NPH’s charm can help now.
Oh, and Gargmel is in jail but gets out with the help of flies. …sure, why not.
The next morning, there’s more bonding, and whatever. Papa Smurf manages to calculate the night he and the others can get home. But first, he must figure out the spell to do so. Neil days he knows an old book shop, where they could find a spellbook.
But things aren’t so bright. Remember neil’s blue moon project? Well, clumsy fucked around and sent it instead of the real ad, so they got put up instead. Who puts up an ad without even checking it? This agency sucks!
So yeah…now the clunky plot points, have caused Neil to be pissed at the smurf, leading to the “break-up” sort of cliché. This movie almost gets good at parts, then shit like this happens!
Besides, we aren’t meant to agree with neil, but I do, as I want them out just as much as he does! I can’t side with Clumsy, he’s a dumb ass! Screw that, movie! Speaking of agreeing..
“stop saying smurf for every word”
“smurf! Smurfy smurf smurf smurf!”
“There’s no call for that kind of language”
sure there fucking is. …also, that was funny. But Grace tries to convince neil these guys are good, and that him almost getting fired isn’t so bad. Screw you, I agree with Nightwing here. They have brought him nothing but trouble, and they should just fuck off.
So Neil is gonna get fired unless he fixes this.
first of all, NOT YOU TOO. 2Nd, YOU KNOW FOR FUCKING KIDS.
There’s another bullshit moment as Neil thinks about what he said, and blah blah blah. The smurfs make it to the bookstore and explore. Eventually they find a book by “peyo” about the mythical smurfs. And with that, they show the original comics in the movie.
Okay, that’s pretty cool (especially when most viewers don’t even know about the comics) and they make it so in this world, the smurfs are little know myths, so thus, people won’t be all ‘OMG SMURFS”. But…that means it’s nothing like our world. Whatever.
They find a spell, but Gargmel walks in. and he has some dragon wand thing, so the smurfs are royally fucked. But Gargmel trips up and fails. However, Papa stays behind to find him off, and tells the others to go “smurf” the moon.
So wait, papa is gonna sacrifice himself? Huh…that’s both cliché and mature…so do I like or not? …eh, i’m neutral. So the smurfs escape, and Neil talks to his boss about the ad in a moment so bullshit, I won’t even quote it. …okay,i will
“once in a blue moon. That means there are only a few moments in your life when something truly…”
gonna stop you there barney. So this all to parallel the baby and whatever. Cliché, rushed, and cluttered. That’s what this entire scen is e, and that’s what this MOVIE is
with that shit moral there, the best good guy in the movie is ruined. Thankfully, the smurfs show up to stop that. Clumsy insists is s they go get Papa, despite his objections. However, Neil and Clumsy didn’t promise jack shit, so it’s loophole abuse to the rescue!
Oh, the other smurfs join too, whatever. So Gargmel takes papa to his lab, and uses bits of his beard to power his wand. Just go with it. And the…they play back in black as the gang walks up to Gargmel’s place.
So Brainy is able to make a blue moon, which impresses boss lady and her friends. Glad that shit plot point Is resolved. Anyway, Gargmel hears the smurfs outside and goes out to see them.
And Gargamel finds himself facing all the Smurfs, summoned to New York by Brainy. This would be badass if they weren’t singing THAT DAMN FREAKING SONG.
At least the narrator is here…but even he is ruined, as he spouts crap and he is interrupted.
“Sorry, it’s kind of what I do”
whatever. An epic battle happens with them, and smurfette fights the cat in an attempt to be an “action girl”. Weak.
“you smurfed with the wrong girl”
STOP. SAYING. SMURF.
They save papa, who joins in on the long dumb fight. Clumsy, in his hero moment, gets the wand from Gargmel. Glad, HIS cliché bullshit got resolved. this movie is called THE SMURFS not CLUMSY SMURF AND SOME OTHER IDIOTS.
With that, Gargmel is blasted away. Weak! And…he gets hit by a bus…and survives.
So they stopped the bad guy,. And clumsy is a hero, proving the dumb moral. So now it’s time for them to jump through the portal, right? Well, of course, most of them go anyway,.
The others have to say their cliché goodbyes! Smurfette gives us THIS out of context line:
“I’ve never had a girlfriend before”
Neil and papa sum up their cliché crab, and whatever, i’m so tired at this point. With that,. The smurfs take their leave.
Oh, and boss lady give neil his job back. Yay? Neil and Grace have their dumb moment, and the credits just kind of roll on that. They should have ended fully, in the village, but whatever. There are bits in the credits that show neil having a kid, and they say no “digital cats” were harmed. Cute.
The. Rushed. End.
When the smurfs are going through the portal, one says this.
“I hated this…so much less than I expected. Don’t get me wrong, I still hated it. Just less!”
How nice of them to sum up my thought perfectly. Well, okay, hate isn’t the word, but come on, when a movie throws you a bone like that, you take it.
Considering the type of film this is, I expected something like alvin and the chiipmunks, But instead, what I go wasn’t…that horrible. Granted, it’s still BAD, but certainly the lesser of many evils.
First off, it’s very well made. The animation is great, and the first few minutes capture the smurfs perfectly, and both the tone and the village set. Most of the acting is good, and they all sounded like they were trying. Neil patrick harris is always great, and for the most part, he brings some charm, and he’s good since he’s talking to a CG effect.
Hank Azaria is a great Gargmel, and for the first half, he’s fun. But even he gets lame neat the end, and his shit gets old. the rest of the acting is just eh.
That’s were the really good stuff ends. Really, it’s your basic bad live action adaptation. Characters leaving the environment we know and going to our world? Check. Pop culture references? Check. Product placement? Check,. No attempt to actually make a worthwhile story these characters? Check. Cliches that make you cringe? DOUBLE CHECK.
All of those things take up most of this movie, and while it isn’t much in the first half the 3rd act gets bad. All the instances of smurf, all the cliches…it gets too much. It gets really rushed, and I just got tired of it, big time. It just becomes generic, and tiresome.
There’s very few attempts to make it stand out, as a live action adaptation, and it’s biggest crime, is being a prime example of why they fail. But beyond that…it’s just typical in how bad it is. Besides everything, it’s not the most torturous film ever. At lest they don’t have high squeaky voices..
Yes, some parts show actual effort, but when we get to the plot, it’s generic and cliché. While i’ve never felt highly of the smurfs, I think this is a failure of an adaptation. But it’s never any worst than “typically bad”.
even with the good performances, and lines, I can’t even suggest it. Maybe if you have low standards, you may enjoy it. Hell, Mr coat liked it, and he dislikes most live action adaptations!
I’ll close out on a paraphrased version of that quote. I disliked it…less than I thought I would. But I still disliked it! Just less!
Well, i’ve had one fun one, and one typical one. So far, things are looking good. A few more of these and I may survive! What’s next?