Friday, July 29, 2011

Movie Review: Smurfs

La-la-la-la-la-la, la-la-la-la-la.

And so goes the lovely tune the Smurfs sing in this movie, and their eponymous television series.  The movie is very similar to the song, very friendly and pleasant in nature, but less fun the longer it goes on.

So, here's the skinny. When I saw the trailer for the Smurfs, I thought to myself, "this movie looks awful." I had low expectations going in. My expectations were exceeded slightly, but not much. The movie is what it professes to be in its commercials. If you liked what you saw there, you'll probably like the movie. If you didn't like what you saw, you probably won't like the movie.

It essentially follows the smurfs as they're sucked from smurf village through a vortex that spits them out in New York City. Gargamel (Hank Azaria), the evil wizard who wants to suck magical smurf essence from the blue creatures, follows them.

Of course, the smurfs run into ad exec Patrick (Neil Patrick Harris) and his beloved, pregnant wife, Grace (Jayma Mays). The couple ends up helping the smurfs avoid Gargamel and return through the vortex to Smurf village. Along the way, Patrick, under the tutelage of Papa Smurf, discovers what being a father truly means. Heartwarming -- or at least it's meant to be.

The movie has some funny moments, and isn't downright awful, as I was concerned it would be. Overall it's a film you take your kids to because they want to see it, not because you're gonna love it. The good news is it's not such an awful film to ride along for (and as parents, we all know there are some truly awful films we sit through for the sake of our children).

As a side note, my children loved one running joke throughout the movie. Similar to the way miners used canaries to test the air, Gargamel keeps throwing his cat, Azrael, into potentially perilous situations (Gargamel throws the cat through the vortex first), then calling out, "Azrael, are you dead?" When the cat responded, Gargamel would go himself . Now that they've seen this, my children keep asking, "Are you dead?" and laughing hysterically. I tell them this is not funny, yet they disagree.

-Hyattsville Mom

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