What a Smurf­tas­tro­phe

The Gold Coast Bulletin - Play Magazine - - MOVIES -

LAME jokes and puerile cute­ness doom silly se­quel The Smurfs 2, which takes the Smurfs to Paris.

Car­ry­ing on with the legacy of inanity, The Smurfs 2 stum­bles from one dumb prat­fall to the next as evil wizard Gargamel (Hank Azaria), who has a gig as a ma­gi­cian in Paris, plots to use Smur­fette (voiced by Katy Perry) to steal from the lit­tle dolls their good­ness-sup­ply­ing ‘‘Smurf essence’’ and turn them into colour­less trolls called Naugh­ties, aka Frankens­murfs.

Ex­cept the Naugh­ties aren’t that naughty, Gargamel is bum­bling in­stead of scary and the movie mainly con­sists of one set piece af­ter an­other of harm­less, wit-free mis­chief such as trash­ing a sweet shop, soar­ing around the gar­goyles of Notre Dame or fall­ing off the Eiffel Tower.

How to sub­sti­tute in ‘‘Smurf’’ for one syl­la­ble of any word is the ma­jor chal­lenge fac­ing the five screen­writ­ers.

There’s ‘‘to­tal Smurfaged­don!’’ and ‘‘com­plete Smurf­tas­tro­phe!’’, not to men­tion ‘‘Smurf­napped by the ghastly Gargamel!’’

Neil Pa­trick Har­ris and Jayma Mays are back as Pa­trick and Grace, a cou­ple of New York­ers whose apart­ment the

The Smurfs 2. Smurfs stum­bled into in the first film. This time, Pa­trick has daddy is­sues with his ebul­lient step­fa­ther, Vic­tor (Bren­dan Glee­son), who shows up un­ex­pect­edly and in­sists ev­ery­one join the Smurfs in bat­tling Gargamel in Paris.

Bore­dom reigns through­out as Smur­fette, sucked through a por­tal into a foun­tain in Paris, frol­ics around town with her sup­posed en­e­mies the Naugh­ties, Azaria mugs and Har­ris mostly looks like he’s wait­ing for a bus.

Oc­ca­sion­ally, there’s a con­tem­po­rary or grown-up ref­er­ence to freshen up this moldy blue cheese but the at­tempts at night­club repar­tee are em­bar­rass­ing.

With names like Grouchy and Clumsy, the Smurfs are es­sen­tially Shrinky Dink-ed Seven Dwarfs run through a Win­dex bath and in­jected with the lame bland­ness of their na­tive Bel­gium, where they were un­leashed on the world in 1958.

They’re as lethally un­in­ter­est­ing as Bar­ney the Pur­ple Di­nosaur, though we’d pay to see a Godzil­lastyle Bar­ney vs Smurfs movie, as long as max­i­mum de­struc­tion was promised. No mat­ter which side loses, we’d all be win­ners.

– KYLE SMITH, The New York Post

The Smurfs 2 opens to­day.

Vexy (Christina Ricci), Smur­fette (Katy Perry) and Hackus (J.B. Smoove) in

Pa­trick (Neil Pa­trick Har­ris) and Papa Smurf (Jonathan Win­ters)

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