Those adorable Smurfs are back on the big-screen in the sequel to the 2011 blockbuster hit. They are as appealing today as they were when first introduced on television in 1981. Their contagious, cheerful energy draws you in and the optimism they possess throughout permeates the screen while trying to conquer the evil, Grinch-like Gargamel.
Gargamel still has an appeal that viewers love to hate. His somewhat likable bad guy continues to be the central character. In “the Smurfs 2, directed by Raja Gosnell who also directed “The Smurfs”, and “Beverly Hills Chihuahua” Gargamel (Hank Azaria) is now a famous sorcerer living in Paris. His shows are always sold out and he has everything one always wanting more. He creates a couple of characters from a lump of clay (like Smurfette) called The Naughties Vexy (voiced by Christina Ricci) and Hackus (J.B. Smoove), hoping to harness the magical Smurf essence so he can rule the world. He runs into a problem as his Naughties do not possess what he needs. Gargamel finds out that Smurfette (Katy Perry) is the only one who knows the secret of the essence, so, he sets out to have her kidnapped.
In Smurf Village, Smurfette has the feeling of not quite fitting in with the rest of the Smurfs because she was created by Gargamel. Papa Smurf made her a true blue Smurf. Katy Perry said, “In a way, it’ like she’s becoming a teenager, asking all the same kind of questions we all go through when we come of age. She’s really trying to figure out if she’s a real Smurf.”
Gargamel kidnaps her on the eve of her birthday. With Smurfette missing, Papa Smurf (Jonathan Winters, in his final performance) along with a few other Smurfs, decides to take matters into his own hands. Smurfette forms a bond with the Naughties who are like her brother and sister. When Papa Smurf attempts to rescue her, it’s a question if she wants to be or not. There is more here than meets the eye as a secret is revealed which could affect the entire Smurf community.
This was a pleasant, funny, sweet, sometimes serious movie. I really enjoyed it. The Smurfs are adorable, the Naughties are cute, but the real surprise is Gargamel. Hank Azaria’s work as the evil sorcerer was quite funny and very convincing. He brought forth a different kind of energy and it worked. Neil Patrick Harris, Jayma Mays, and Brendan Gleeson go through the motions but do not stand out.
The movie works because it doesn’t connect only with children, but for adults as well. If you’re looking for a fun summer movie, and are tired of Minions, go see The Smurfs 2 with the family.
- Written by: Michael Eisenberg