The Smurfs 2

 

Sony Pictures

 

Rating: PG

 

Reason for the Rating: Some rude humor and action.

 

Plot Summary: Gargamel is at it again...now the Smurfs must band together to stop him.

 

PopFam Recommends: Don't hate on blue...your kids'll like this—you might too.

 

Yes, it's true. The Smurfs are an acquired taste. And yes, all that "smurfing" of regular words to make them punny can get tiring. But if there's one thing all Smurfs have going for them, it's this:

 

Smurfs make kids laugh.

 

Honestly, as a parent, that's enough reason to join the Smurf-brigade and watch Smurfs 2 with your family. But here's even better news: Despite what sardonic movie critics and cynical teenagers say, Smurfs 2 is actually fun for adults too. I know, right? Here's the main story:

 

Evil scientist and constant Smurf-enemy, Gargamel (played with villainous abandon by Hank Azaria) is after the "magical Smurf-essence" (yeah, I'm not sure what that is either), so he hatches a scheme. He creates two new little creatures who look and talk like Smurfs but who are...naauuughty. So much so, that's even their name: The Naughties. But they are not quite everything that Gargamel had hoped for, and only Smurfette (voiced delightfully once again by Katy Perry) knows the secret for turning the fake Smurfs into real Smurfs.

 

So what's a villain to do?

 

Kidnap the girl of course. Whisk her off to Paris and force her to reveal the code to Smurfiness there in the city of love. From there it's up to Papa Smurf and the rest of the clan (along with a few helpful human friends) to rescue Smurfette, see the sights of Paris, and set the Smurf world aright again.

 

Yes, I know, the storyline steals a bit from Superman and Bizarro Superman, and the idea of a "Smurfette Damsel in Distress" is a little stunted, but...you know, it kind of works.

 

For starters, Smurfette is no typical damsel in distress, fainting and waiting for a big strong man to save her. She's actually a kick onscreen. Second, slapstick humor abounds in this film and hey, who doesn't like a little falling-down and flying-object hilarity? Third, Smurfs are happy people, and they make everyone around them happy, even in the face of danger and disaster. The warm family messages they display are unforced and comical and recurring throughout: Family matters; friends are friends in good times and bad; loyalty trumps desire; nobody's perfect but everyone can still be good to each other. Those kinds of things.

 

Neil Patrick Harris as Smurf-best-buddy Patrick is quite fun in this movie too, never winking at the camera or playing it as anything but a real guy who just happens to be friends with a bunch of magical blue toys. And, of course, the multi-talented Hank Azaria would be a hoot reading the dictionary. Give him a wacky evil genius like Gargamel to play and the world just fills with smiles.

 

In all, Smurfs 2 isn't Shakespeare or Zero Dark Thirty, but honestly, who would want that? It is what it was intended to be: 105 minutes of lighthearted comedy that'll delight all but the most cynical members of your family. Easily recommended.

 

The DVD edition of Smurfs 2 is light on extras, though the behind-the-scenes featurette "Daddy's Little Girl: The Journey of Smurfette" is a nice experience for fathers and daughters to watch together. Enjoy!

 

--MN

 

Note: All product-related graphics in this article are standard publicity/promotional shots and are owned by their respective publisher.

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