This movie is smurf!

Seriously, sometimes it's better to watch a movie once the hype or controversy surrounding it has calmed down. Of course everybody was hating on this movie, even way before its release. It's a CGI animated movie, combined with real live actors in it, set in modern day New York, based on a popular classic comic book and television series for kids. Everything about it sounds bad and like a terrible and very unappealing, far from creative, idea. It had disaster written all over it, especially once you learn that it's directed by Raja Gosnell, who previously did movies such as the Scooby-Doo movies, "Home Alone 3", "Big Momma's House" and "Beverly Hills Chihuahua".

But lets be honest here; is this movie really bad? No, it's quite an enjoyable movie and especially for kids of course. Sure, it's a very simplistic movie but it's an entertaining one nevertheless. There is nothing too surprising or outstanding about any of it but on the other hand there also isn't ever anything truly terrible about any of it either. It's never going too over-the-top with anything and isn't constantly trying to be a cute and funny movie, by forcing all of its comedy, unlike other genre movies often tend to do.

It's good to see that they stayed close to the original source material. Not necessarily with its story or settings of course but more so with its characters. They weren't ever trying too hard to update any of the Smurfs to today's standards, by making them all hip and dress them up different. No, all of the Smurfs are pretty much still the same characters they were when they first were created by Peyo, back in 1958. Even Gargamel, played by Hank Azaria and Azrael, voiced by Frank Welker, were surprisingly close to the original cartoon characters and it works out well as well within the actual movie.

It also definitely was smart move by the movie to focus on just a handful of different Smurfs. It keeps the movie focused and easy and pleasant to follow, even though I was missing some of my favorite Smurfs in this movie.

I won't pretend like this is a perfect movie though, that's without any flaws. It of course still is an heavily flawed movie with its story and also a bit of a too childish one for my taste. The human plot lines do work out within the movie but it still is something I could have done without. It's just too simplistic and predictable, despite the fact that Jayma Mays and Neil Patrick Harris were still pleasant to watch together in this. They besides act well with the CG Smurfs, which is something these type of movies rarely ever seem to be able to get right.

And speaking of CG Smurfs, the effects are actually quite good in this. They besides blend in well with the real live surroundings and environments. It's nothing too fancy but it definitely serves its purpose all.

One of the things that's still terrible and very distracting about the movie is the many, many product placements in it. Thank goodness this is something most movies have learned to hold back on nowadays but this movie is definitely an exception. It isn't even being subtle with it!

A surprisingly watchable children's movie even though it's of course far from a masterpiece or an absolute mustsee. But I honestly expected to hate this movie, also since it always looked absolutely terrible to me but I was surprised how much I actually enjoyed watching it and there was nothing about it that ever annoyed me or screamed out bad to me.


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About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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