When The Smurfs hit theaters in 2011, it was a surprise smash. But, in hindsight, we who cover the movie business should not have been so shocked that the big screen version of Peyo’s world made $564 million! His Smurfs are a beloved institution in pop culture and have been for decades. What should not be a surprise is that we now have a sequel, teased in The Smurfs 2 trailer.
Back for another adventure are Neil Patrick Harris and Jayma Mays, as well as Hank Azaria as the evil wizard Gargamel.
This time out, our film begins in the land of Smurfs where Smurfette is excited to celebrate her birthday. Only, it seems that nobody remembers. In reality, they are preparing a surprise celebration of Smurf proportions.
Teased in the second The Smurfs 2 movie trailer, we also learn in the opening moments of The Smurfs 2 how Smurfette landed in the cute blue creatures' village. She was a creation of Gargamel and meant to infiltrate the Smurfs world so he could destroy it. But, she was won over by the love of Papa Smurf and the joy and love of life of all his fellow Smurfs.
So, we have our premise for the sequel. Gargamel has created his own Smurfs, but this time, they didn’t turn out as well. They are known as the Naughties and they manage to get to Smurf village and kidnap Smurfette and take her to Gargamel’s lair (er… hotel room) in Paris where he is performing magic to sell-out crowds of manic Parisians who simply adore his quirky lack of charm.
Papa Smurf and a few of his kind head to New York to recruit Harris and Mays for a whole new adventure. They have a young son, named Blue of all things, and Harris’ estranged father Victor (Brendan Gleeson) is there for a long overdue visit to celebrate Blue’s birthday. Papa Smurf rallies the family and his fellow Smurfs and heads to Paris to rescue Smurfette.
The Smurfs 2 is very much in the vein of the first film. It is geared towards children and they will adore it to the ends of the Earth. There are lessons aplenty including learning to appreciate what you have and not to idolize what you don’t. The power of family also permeates every frame of the film, regardless of what form that family takes… which is extremely timely given our ever changing familial dynamic in today’s world.
But, The Smurfs 2 is not all lessons and message. There is humor, albeit geared towards youngsters. There is adventure, still G-rated. And overall, there is the charm that has endeared these little blue creatures to millions across the globe for decades. Once you experience the world of the Smurfs, it is easy to see not only how the first film did so well, but why they continue to resonate today and into the future.
Our The Smurfs 2 review has to split our grade into two parts: One for kids and one for the film overall. Kids… will love it and it’s a five-star event. Adults on the other hand… not quite as much. But then again, those of a mature age are not who filmmakers made The Smurfs 2 for… although it’s easy to find them quite charming.