August 2, 2013

"It doesn't matter where you came from. What matters is who you choose to be."
First thing to say : I solemnly swear that I'll not use the word "smurf" as an adjective, a verb, or a noun in this very review, because I simply had had enough. I also have a thing to confess : I actually liked its predecessor, 2011's "The Smurfs". In my opinion, it was charming, well-animated and quite refreshing, all the bad commentaries aside. Now, still directed by Raja Gosnell, the (ehm, annoying) blue creatures are back with a new adventure and another rescue mission (looks like I'm getting tired of the let's-go-save-him/her formula). I didn't expect much from this sequel, because the first one was more like a starstruck and an obtuse pleasure. So, how was it? Keep on reading.

Smurfette (Katy Perry) is having an identity crisis on her birthday. As we all know, she was once Gargamel (Hank Azaria)'s creation that turned good by the help of Papa Smurf (Jonathan Winters). Believing that everyone forgets her birthday, she then feels that she doesn't belong with the smurfs. On the other hand, the evil Gargamel is plotting a diabolical plan (to extract as many as smurf's essences as possbile) by creating evil smurf-like creatures called Naughties; Vexy (Christina Ricci) and Hackus (J.B Smoove). Unfortunately, his plan won't work unless Smurfette tells him the Papa Smurf's secret formula for turning her into 'blue'. By the help of Vexy, Gargamel manages to get ahold on Smurfette, leaving Papa Smurf, Grouchy Smurf (George Lopez), Clumsy Smurf (Anton Yelchin) and Vanity Smurf (John Oliver) to come into a rescue, to once again visit the 'human' world and to summon helps from Patrick (Neil Patrick Harris), Grace (Jayma Mays), their son Blue (Jacob Tremblay) and his step-father Victor (Brendan Gleeson). So, begin their course on rescuing Smurfette, with the real problem ahead them : Smurfette's identity crisis that may just cause her to turn back evil, once and for all.

My brain hurt, like literally. The whole 104 minutes felt like an excruciating pain in the head to me. It was like watching Dora, with slightly better animation and suave movements. I felt dumb just by watching the whole sequences. Let me tell you something : they hired five-friggin-writers to write this piece of incoherent and unfocused thing that doesn't even go in tune. One time you're here, another time you're there, with no red-line whatsoever. One time they narrate the whole thing, another time it's just a fuzzy fuss. The whole plot is an utter mess, with plenty of holes and it is super dull. The pace is badly built, creating what I can elaborate as a seasick. The animation doesn't really amaze me, because the whole thing is missing its core : the smurfs and their village. It's like "The audiences won't get much of the village, so instead of presenting the filthy Manhattan, let's shed some light of The Eiffel Tower," which I can say : doesn't really help. I didn't watch it in 3D, but I'm quoting what (mostly) everyone says : "The 3D doesn't serve much, as in depth and pop-out."

Eventhough most (or all?) animation works are rated G for General Audiences, I rarely felt this dumb when watching one. It's like they dumbed down the story in order to serve the younger audiences more, but what I can tell you is that even an 8-year-old would find it lame. It is so stupid; the whole thing is lacking of sense and amusement. Every bit of things just don't fit right, even with the reserved-for-kids aspect. If their intention indeed to draw children's attention, then why would they make it darker than its predecessor (story aside)? Or why -aside being incredibly bitter and uninspiring- would they serve some slapsticks adult jokes like "Get a shroom!" or "Marthin Lurther Wings"??! I just don't get it. Another thing added, the misplaced and utterly pointless scenes, for instance, Gargamel's magic show, NPH pinching from a gourmet plate with an excuse of "I couldn't get a reservation", Jaima "Meryl Smurfin Streeps" Mays's imitated performance of Breakfast at Tiffany's Holy Golightly, so on so on. What a big effing dissapointment. And may I kill that pathetic annoying cat Azrael?

Though I'm not impressed, I appreciate the effort of making the kids to understand the importance of a family. It doesn't executed that well, but it serves its purpose. Another thing, is that Papa Smurf's constant words-of-wisdom blabbering may actually help (as well as quoteable) the children to learn something. Also, Grouchy's will to be happier, only to turn back even more grouchier; this what tells the children to not be something they are not, to just appreciate who they are and embracing it well.

The bloody cast may cause you a little starstruck, but unfortunately, the team doesn't really embrace their big gold coin. What was NPH doing there? I really have no idea, and God, does he annoying! Brendan Gleeson is downright histerical and all over the place. Hank Azaria is just friggishly ugly and annoying, even with more screentime; I did feel like throwing him an explosive PiƱata. Katy Perry fails Smurfette on being the center attention; Smurfette is just dull and inconsistent. Smoove, Lopez, Yelchin, Oliver and Mays are just wrong; too forgettable, pointless yet incredibly sucks. The true heroine here is Christina Ricci; damn I love Vexy. She's fresh, genuine and agreeable (you know what I mean). Oh boy.

Finally, The Smurfs 2 is so far considered as the worst animated movie this year. Everything is just fuzzy, like "What the heck did I just watch?". It's lacking of almost everything. I don't recommend you to watch it, but if "you" stands for 7-year-old and below, you might find it amusing. Go ahead people, rental.

PS : Sorry for the picture-lacking, I'm just too lazy to search for more.

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