Growing up, European comics took a not so small amount of my childhood. Especially the works of Peyo to which I have a certain fondness. I used to have a significant collection on Benoît Brisefer (known here as Steven Sterk), Johan et Pirlouit, and of course, the Smurfs. That being said, I’m really not a fan of a CGI and live-action combined movies. In my opinion, you’d either go CGI all the way, or live-action all the way although naturally, given the certain appearance of the Smurfs, a live-action is clearly not an option.
From what I could ascertain, the New York in this movie existed in the same dimensional plane of ours. There’s a Google, and a Wikipedia article on the Smurfs, to which it said that the Smurfs were mythical creatures created by Peyo. Okay, sounds about the same to what we have here. Anyway, as it should be obvious, the Smurfs weren’t mythical creatures anymore as they stumbled upon a portal that led them out from their mythical village to New York as we know it. Problem is, the portal needs to have a certain condition to have it reopened, and the Smurfs’ nemesis, Gargamel and Azrael, are also went through the portal. During their wait for the next portal to open so they could get home, the six Smurfs that went through the portal had befriended a young couple. They’re nice enough but their presence isn’t really adding that much to the story. Of course, meanwhile, Gargamel and Azrael are in constant pursuit of the Smurfs and amounts to a climatic, non life-threating (keeping it PG, folks) finale.
Hank Azaria is awesome as usual. I’ve seen him in so many movies with so many different outward persona that it took me a while before I could identify him on a first sight. Here, he plays Gargamel, the wizard with a crooked nose and walks funny. Doubtless, the role requires him to do some extra hours with the make-up and some extra works to maintain the character on screen. He shouldered the responsibility amiably. Sadly, for me, it was about the only thing from this movie that worth its own paragraph in this review. Him and Azrael, actually, but that’s because I’m a cat person. And orange cats are the best of them all.
Aside from that, the other thing that probably worth noticing is the reason Grouchy Smurf being who he is, a grouchy person, er, Smurf. But I think it’s definitely meant to amuse the more adult viewers.
For all it’s worth, anyone coming to this movie should have a pretty good idea on what to expect. And it offers exactly that. A very standard family movie which sole appeal to the more adult viewers is probably because they had grown up with it. Although to be quite honest, when the movie shifted scene from the mushroom village to New York, I had lost interest. And not until when the movie offers back a glimpse of the mushroom village during the end credits had my interest picked up a notch.