The Smurfs are almost here! The long-awaited (I think?) movie adaptation of the classic Saturday morning cartoon opens Friday, and brings with it a veritable cavalcade of TV stars. Expect to see Sofia Vergara, Tim Gunn, Tom Colicchio and Joan Rivers wandering around the village—in addition to stars Neil Patrick Harris and Jayma Mays as an expecting human couple and Hank Azaria as Gargamel. And you may recognize the voices of SNL’s Fred Armisen and Kenan Thompson (Brainy Smurf and Greedy Smurf), Katy Perry (Smurfette), George Lopez (Grouchy Smurf) and even Paul “Pee-wee Herman” Reubens as Jokey Smurf. I’m totally smurfed to see it!
Now, there are those who say that The Smurfs should never have been subjected to one of those crass, Hollywood adaptations that piles on the CGI and dated pop-culture references and annoying dialogue until you’re rendered a twitching, catatonic mess. These individuals are called “movie critics.” And apparently they don’t like what the smurf they’re seeing!
“The Smurfs may be blue, but their movie is decidedly green, recycling discarded bits from other celluloid Happy Meals like Alvin and the Chipmunks, Garfield, and Hop into something half animated, half live action, and all careful studio calculation.” [EW]
“Four screenwriters are credited on The Smurfs; half of their work is plugging in one word.” [Tampabay.com]
“Now comes The Smurfs movie—directed by Raja Gosnell, the go-to hack for live-action adaptations of classic animated properties, and scripted by four automatons whose names suggest they may be part of the Witness Relocation Program—to nail the coffin shut, to remind us that there's no bigger bitch in life than nostalgia.” [Slant]
“The Smurfs uses the term 'smurf' 207 times. Really. I counted. Also: Gargamel even calls Papa Smurf 'goody blue shoes,' despite the fact that his shoes are smurfin’ red. Smurf this smurf, and these smurfin’ jokes.” [redeyechicago.com]
“’80s nostalgists who always wanted to see Gargamel get Tasered—or watch rapping Smurfs improvising a version of 'Walk This Way' with lyrics about Smurfette’s hotness—need look no further than this update, but there’s little reason for childless adults to see The Smurfs, unless they’re just curious to know how far filmmakers can go in using feigned sincerity to sell a thoroughly calculated, cynical product.” [AV Club]
“We're treated to lines like: 'I think I just smurfed in my mouth,' 'Son of a smurf,' 'Where the smurf are we?' and 'Up smurf creek without a smurfing paddle' ... plus the immortal 'Smurf happens.' They even go so far as to make reference to the curious fertility of Papa Smurf (99 sons, one daughter, no visible wife). Those anticipating a blue movie won't be disappointed." [Guardian]
"Having directed Scooby-Doo and Beverly Hills Chihuahua, Raja Gosnell is becoming something of a mixed live-action/animation expert, so you would think that by now his compositions would look less like human beings clutching at tiny, imagined Smurfs that are going to be filled in later." [Austin Chronicle]
Are you going to see The Smurfs this weekend? Or would you rather have a Smurf smurf in your smurf than have to do that?