The Smurfs

Rated 1.0

I think this could’ve been a cute movie—I really do. But director Raja Gosnell (the cinematic criminal behind such atrocities as the Scooby-Doo movies and the first Big Momma’s House) has made a loud, annoying mess out of the Smurfs story. When Gargamel (Hank Azaria) chases a bunch of Smurfs, they travel through some sort of portal and wind up in modern-day Manhattan where Neil Patrick Harris awaits. Rather than venturing out and taking in the city, the Smurfs just spend the film bitching about going home. One would think a Smurf movie would be cute and cuddly, but this features a lot of screaming, annoying slapstick, and Azaria embarrassing himself under a lot of makeup. I did like a few moments with Azriel the cat—a well-done special effect combo of real cat and CGI—and some of the 3-D imagery is pretty when the movie slows down, but that’s about it for good parts.