My knowledge of the Smurfs extends as to the fact that they were prizes in Kinder eggs every six months and people buy them off eBay for ridiculous amounts of money that would be better resourced as funding space flight and kidney dialysis machines. So, going into the new big screen version of the popular little blue nuggets I was a little bemused.
The Smurfs utilises the rather old storyline that through a series of mishaps, the titular heroes end up in the real world followed by the somewhat evil, eternally clumsy Gargamel (Hank Azaria). I say real world as it’s continually pointed out that the Smurfs are fictional and have their own comic strip and yet, no one seems to know what they are, including Neil Patrick Harris. After a series of ‘hilarious’ fish out of water episodes, the little blue buggers try to work out how to get home. It’s all so predictable; it is very easy to become cynical.
The script, despite the best efforts of the cast, is nothing eye-opening. Yes, it doesn’t rely on pop culture references (apart from a grating reference to voice star, Katy Perry’s musical career) but it does overkill the joke of using the word ‘smurf’ in place nouns/adjectives/genital descriptions/swearing. The other jokes are of the basest kind. Lots of falling over and running into things. All of which is hung off a plot that makes the Wiggles look like LA Noire.
However, despite this and the horrific stunt casting of the aforementioned Katy Perry, what I realised was that this was never going to be a film for me. For once, someone had thought to make a film for children that didn’t rely on selling toys (though I’m sure it will) and adult jokes disguised as satire.
The simplistic nature of the film means that it won’t tax the little ones brains to the point of little darlings asking incessant questions. If you go with the flow, there’s a chance you may enjoy yourself.
In short, better than a smurf in in the smurfing smurf, but overall I’d say it’s smurf out of smurf.