Director: Kelly Asbury
Starring: Demi Lovato, Rainn Wilson, Julia Roberts, Mandy Patinkin, Joe Manganiello, Jack McBrayer, Danny Pudi, Michelle Rodriguez, Ellie Kemper, Ariel Winter, Jake Johnson, Meghan Trainor, Gabriel Iglesias, Tituss Burgess, Gordon Ramsay, Jeff Dunham
Rated: PG (some mild action and rude humor)
In this fully animated, all-new take on the Smurfs, a mysterious map sets Smurfette and her friends Brainy, Clumsy and Hefty on an exciting race through the Forbidden Forest leading to the discovery of the biggest secret in Smurf history.
Smurfs: The Lost Village
By Cole Schneider
They made another Smurfs movie. How could they make another Smurfs movie! Truthfully, it could’ve been worse.
This newest cinematic Smurf adventure frames itself as something of an existential crisis for the blue village’s lone girl, Smurfette. Everyone else—all the boys—are named after their defining characteristic and as such are reduced almost exclusively to that defining characteristic. They’re basically the Seven Dwarves. Hefty Smurf, for instance, is strong. Brainy Smurf is smart. Clumsy Smurf is clumsy. That leaves Smurfette in crisis. She is left asking herself, “What’s an ette?” or “What am I good at?” or fundamentally, “Who am I?”
The whole thing refuses to truly flesh itself out, and is instead much more interested in a tired narrative where Smurfette and friends race the evil and silly Gargamel to find a lost village of Smurfs. Yet even while generic and even while Smurfette herself isn’t much of the heroine she should be, there’s something there that sets it apart from similar but more miserable efforts like last year’s “Sing”.
“Smurfs: The Lost Village” isn’t half as cynical as those, and perhaps understands its audience better than most though parents complicit in taking their kids aren’t half as likely to be entertained by its many bright colors and broad strokes. Really, its biggest selling point to adults and older siblings is that it’s less than 90 minutes. Essentially, this third Smurfs outing doesn’t have much going for it at all, but in never pretending it brings a slim delightfulness to the picture.
Rating: 2.5 out of 5 stars
Smurfs: The Lost Village
By Matt Greene
Look, let’s cut to the chase: either you don’t have kids who want to see this latest Smurf retread (in which you probably won’t see it and need not bother reading any further) or you have kids who do want to see it (in which you’ll probably see it regardless of reviews). But I implore you, for the love of all that is blue, PLEASE take your kids to Lego Batman or Boss Baby, because The Lost Village is Smurfin’ awful. There are “Tinkerbell” movies with more grace, lore and laughs than this. Other than the animation, which is fine, nothing (humor, story, characters, writing, adventure) in Smurfs works.
It’s a tired story of Smurfette trying to find out what her purpose is. Not only is that theme covered in millions of stories before, it was the exact plot of the very last Smurfs film. This brand has never been known for its ingenuity, but this one’s insistence on senseless plotting is astounding: magic comes and goes at will, characters suddenly appear whenever they’re needed & worst of all, it’s just not funny. Like at all. The movie’s brought to halt with every punny punchline. At one point, Eifel 65’s insufferable “I’m Blue” plays & is clearly thought of as a really clever joke.
I really hope that 2016’s Trolls (a funny, sweet and lively little animated fantasy) has officially taken over the mantel of tiny, happy, singing creatures. Otherwise, if this is the best entertainment our kids are gonna get, that makes me very blue…and if that joke annoys you, then you’re really gonna wanna stay away from Smurfs.
Rating: 0.5 out of 5 stars