[Movie Review] 'The Smurfs 2' Delivers More Smurfy Fun
The Smurfs are back on the big screen in a bigger, bluer, smurfier sequel that does for too-often-under-appreciated step parents what the 2010 original did for wary first time expecting parents.
As in 2010’s The Smurfs, the little mushroom-dwelling creatures find themselves magically transported from the safe haven of their cozy village to the dangerous streets of our real world, which is also inhabited by their arch nemesis, the evil wizard Gargamel, played effectively like a living cartoon once again by Hank Azaria (Godzilla).
This time, however, after a quick stop in New York City to pick up their human pals Patrick and Grace, played by Neil Patrick Harris (Harold and Kumar Go To White Castle) and Jayma Mays (Glee), it’s off to Paris to find Gargamel – now a celebrity magician on tour – and rescue Smurffette, again played by pop singer Katy Perry.
As the lone female among a village of males, it’s understandable that Smufette’s birthday would be an especially difficult time for her, so when she thinks the guys have forgotten that it’s her birthday, she runs away, eventually to the clutches of her nefarious “real father” Gargamel, turning her back on her smurfy adopted family, who were actually busy planning a party for her.
Along the way on her adventure, Smurfette gets two new companions in The Naughties – a lovable dimwit called Hackus, played by Plymouth, North Carolina native J.B. Smoove (Saturday Night Live), and a goth girl with attitude, of course played by Christina Ricci (The Addams Family). Together they form a new family with Smurfette, as her friends from back home embark on their own mission to find her, lead by Papa Smurf, again voiced by the late Jonathan Winters (The Flintstones), to whom the film is dedicated.
Numerous well known celebrities can be heard voicing various smurfs throughout the movie, including George Lopez (Valentine’s Day) as Grouchy, Anton Yelchin (Star Trek) as Clumsy, comedian Jeff Foxworthy as Handy, Alan Cumming (X-Men 2) as Gutsy, Kenan Thompson (Fat Albert) as Greedy, NBA legend Shaquille O’Neal as Smooth, B.J. Novak (The Office) as Baker, Paul (Pee Wee Herman) Reubens as Jokey, Mario Lopez (Saved by the Bell) as Social, athlete Shawn White as Clueless, and talk show host Jimmy Kimmel as Passive-Agressive Smurf.
As Smurfette predictably comes to realize just how special her adopted family of Smurfs is to her, so does Harris’s Patrick learn to finally call his own step dad – played by a wonderfully wacky Brendan Gleeson – just good old “Dad” in what is easily the emotional high point of a film that doesn’t beat you over the head with its positive messages but let’s us each recognize the common ground these characters ultimately meet on mirrored in our own lives.
True fans will want to hang around for a final extra scene after the closing credits, as everyone should leave the theater feeling a bit more appreciative of their own families, whether they may be biologically ours or not, likely humming the smurftastic theme song all the way home.
In the end, The Smurfs 2 is about how those who choose to love us are sometimes just as – if not more – important as the family we are born into, urging viewers to open their big blue hearts and let the smurfing love in.
Official Rating: 3 out of 5 Stars
Reviewed by: Matt Artz
Write your own review in the comments below!
The Smurfs 2 (rated PG) is now playing at The Pioneer Theatre in Manteo, this week through Sept. 12 with an 8pm showtime nightly.