Monday, August 8, 2011
Although I do enjoy watching kids movies, I was especially interested in seeing The Smurfs because I watched them every Saturday morning growing up in the 80's. One of the advantages of growing up and having kids is that you can use the next generation as an excuse to recycle toys, books, cartoons and movies!
The Smurfs are a group of little ("only three apples high") blue people who live in tiny mushrooms. They are hunted by Gargamel (Hank Azaria)-an evil wizard-and his cat Azrael, who are trying to hunt the smurfs in order to extract their essence. Luckily, the little blue guys are usually able to use their magic to outsmart Gargamel.
One night, Papa Smurf has a vision of the Smurfs being trapped by Gargamel, but he doesn't want to worry any of the other smurfs. While running from Gargamel and Azrael, Clumsy Smurf is sucked into a portal which opened during a blue moon. Smurfette, Papa Smuf, and several of the other smurfs go after him and are followed by Gargamel and Azrael.
They end up in Central Park in New York City, and in order to hide from Gargamel, they run into an office building and hide in a box. The box is taken home by Patrick Winslow (Neil Patrick Harris), who is an ad exec at a large New York firm. In addition to a new promotion, Patrick's wife Grace (Jayma Mays) is also pregnant with their first child and he is feeling a lot of stress and uncertainty about the future.
Patrick and Grace take in the smurfs and try to protect them from Gargamel until there is another blue moon to reopen the portal so the smurfs can go home. Hilarity ensues as the smurfs cause chaos around Manhattan and accidentally mess up the ad campaign that Patrick is working on. Eventually, Patrick realizes that the smufs just need someone to take care of them, and that he is up to the challenges of being a new dad.
The special effects are pretty good, and it was fun to see the smurfs on the big screen. Neil Patrick Harris was also very good in his role. Although Gargamel was supposed to be over the top and goofy, adults who take their kids to the movie will probably be happy when he is not on the screen because he was just a little too stupid.
Rating: 3/5 stars.