REVIEW: The Smurfs

Well, here we are again with yet another film adaptation aiming to relive the magic and beauty from our favourite comics and TV programmes during our childhoods. Being one who didn’t really read many of the comic books but used to watch the original TV cartoons at a young age, thoughts of yet another feature film based on The Smurfsto start off with weren’t all that great due to the fact that the altered adjustments in the film from the cartoons are easily recognizable which could kill the charm and innocence that we witnessed in our childhoods. Having already featured two Belgian animated versions in 1965 and 1976, the latest American version of the classic cartoons is beyond corny as it turned out a completely failed disaster in almost every single aspect!

In all honesty, The Smurfs is a perfect example that demonstrates how even a family film, the most light-hearted genre of film out there, can go wrong and totally fall apart as it simply does not have any of the particular concepts that are required to satisfy its target audience. It is literally humourless and there really is absolutely funny or witty about it at all, there is no emotion or chemistry between neither the Smurf characters nor the young couple, not to mention the acting, character development and script were all absolutely atrocious. On the other hand, like every film that involves animation deserves, The Smurfs clearly does have its impressive visual effects but even they didn’t save the film as the dialogue simply makes it like an altered version of Alvin And The Chipmunks.

Over the years, director Raja Gosnell has provided us with some of the corniest, family orientated disasters of this generation. Gosnell’s previously best-known work is the live-action/CGI converted feature film of classic 2D cartoon show Scooby Doo and its absolutely atrocious sequel, it doesn’t come to a great surprise that lightning has stuck yet again. Despite liking the first Scooby Doo film in 2002, Gosnell truly knows how to transform a gem from a kid’s childhood and turn it into disaster. The screenplay of The Smurfs is beyond soppy as it is written in a really bad dialogue, especially with how the film ended as it could have ended stronger than it actually did. Plus, the incredibly corny scenes lacked reality and truly kills the humour, charm and innocence of The Smurfs characters.

Excluding the Smurfs, Hank Azaria is perhaps the leader of the pack as he portrays the evil wizard Gargamel. Over the years, Azaria has been part of a large number of films but with rather lame performances, and it’s safe to say that he truly cannot act at all and gives us yet another appalling performance. This film as well as the Gargamel character really could have worked out brilliantly if the character was a bit more comical let alone more evil. Honestly, not in a long time has there been a soppier, poorly acted and wooden dry couple in a film! Gleestar Jayma Mays and Neil Patrick Harris, who has a reputation of starring in unsuccessful and corny films portray the selective roles. There is literally no sparks, no chemistry and simply no love or compassion between them in the slightest, let alone either of them have for the Smurfs.

Quite honestly, if you’re a big fan of The Smurfs cartoons and/or the original comic books, you will most likely be disappointed or even rather disgusted at this updated American version because the Smurfs in this one really aren’t the Smurfs that we saw back then. Yes, they have the same features but personality wise and how we think about them, they are all entirely different! Including the 3D animation, they all carry the incredibly annoying and unrealistic characteristics of Alvin, Simon and Theodore from the Alvin And The Chipmunks that will have some kids at least under 5 giggling on occasions but it will not impress others.

Overall, The Smurfs is an absolutely atrocious film that is an utter disaster in almost every single way. Yes, the film does have its decent effects but a film really isn’t just about the effects, whether it is aimed for kids or not. If there’s anything that The Smurfs has taught us, it’s taught us that if you’re intending to touch the next generation with a film based upon a TV show or a kind of book from the previous one, make sure that you get the facts straight first and just make it original rather than merging it with other films. After how this one turned out, who knows how the sequel upcoming in 2013 will transpire.


~ by SJMJ91 on 15/05/2012.

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