I'm currently studying professional and creative writing at Deakin University.
The Smurfs are the latest vintage fad to be swept up by Hollywood's remake squad. They have been digitalised, paired with famous voice actors and prepared for a new generation to consume.
The story begins with a brief introduction into the Smurf community and the world they live in. A necessary device, as it struck me that the younger members of the audience may not actually know what a 'Smurf' is, considering that the animated Smurf series finished back in 1989.
Once the audience is familiar with Smurf culture the antagonist Gargamel is brought to attention; an evil sorcerer who is obsessed with capturing the Smurfs in an effort to extract powerful magic from them.
Soon the high jinks ensue as Clumsy Smurf accidentally leads Gargamel to the hidden Smurf village. Everything is destroyed and the Smurfs narrowly escape through a strange waterfall portal that miraculously leads them to America as they plop out of a water feature in Central Park, New York.
Before long the Smurfs are caught up in the world of Patrick Winslow (Neil Patrick Harris) a marketing wiz on the verge of a promotion. A love-hate relationship forms with Winslow and the Smurfs as they try to figure out a way to get home, all the while they are foiling the devilish plots of Gargamel who has also found himself a stranger in the wild backdrop of New York City.
For children this film is a good way to waste an afternoon and for the accompanying adults it's a good way to waste some money.
There is a quiet charm to Harris' performance and there are a few chuckle moments as they poke fun at the odd male to female ratio of the Smurfs.
The main problem I have is that they brought it to America. I think it would have been a much more interesting film had they stayed in the magical land of the Smurfs instead of cutting and pasting lovable characters into the relatable setting of America. It's a tired device that I think international audiences won't find appealing.
Smurfs in New York? Mayhem! They had just recovered from all that damage the Transformers caused!
By Anonymous Saturday, 24th of September @ 02:32 pm
I loved this when I was a kid but am extremely hesitant to watch it now as I believe this could ruin the experience I remember. I agree with the statement about bringing it to America, it would be better to leave it as it was in the beginning and this is the main reason as to why I am hesitant. Thank you for the review as I think I now think I will leave it to my memory and not attempt to rekindle this love.