CAST: Demi Lovato, Johan Heldenbergh, Danny Pudi, Rainn Wilson, Julia Roberts, Michelle Rodriguez.
DIRECTION: Kelly Asbury
DURATION: 1 hour 29 minutes
STORY: When Smurfette stumbles upon the evil wizard Gargamel’s plan to find a secret Smurf village and destroy it, she embarks on a quest to warn the exotic inhabitants of the attack.
REVIEW: The sworn enemy of the Smurfs, Gargamel creates the first female Smurf named Smurfette to try and gain access to the super-secret Smurf village. But Papa Smurf thwarts his efforts and does magic on Smurfette to get her over to the good side. While she looks like the Smurfs, she remains different than the others. Smurfs are supposed to specialise at one thing, (humour, baking, farming etc.), but she is a Jill-of-all-trades. On one ‘Smurfing’ trip, the evil Gargamel captures her and wheedles out information about another secret Smurf village. She breaks out of his prison, and struck by guilt, decides to go and warn the inhabitants of the other village with help from her friends Clumsy Smurf (Anton Yelchin), Brainy Smurf (Danny Pudi) and Hefty Smurf (Joe Manganiello).
After two previous movies that tried to hook viewers to the Smurf’s universe and failed, 'Smurfs: The Lost Village' is a reboot that tries to salvage the dismal run of its predecessors. Given the short length of the film, kudos to the makers as they manage to explore new ground and introduce an entirely new Smurf tribe, yet the story fails them. Kids may find it endearing, but there is very little for adults to take away. The characters, with the exception of Smurfette, remain one dimensional and the villain is a weakling. There is no real fear about him ever winning in the entirety of the film.
The animation in the tale is sharp, and thankfully the makers decided to stick to computer animation considering the earlier films were a mix of live action and animation. 3D is well used in several sequences, and you wish there was more of it. Animated films with no legacy behind them have done much better in terms of story in the recent past ('Sing', 'Zootopia' etc). But this one, with its insipid and lazy storyetlling, fails to build up on Smurf nostalgia.
Demi Lovato, as Smurfette has done a credible job in voicing her character, but the rest, including Julia Roberts, don’t really add to the movie. An exception is Ellie Kemper as Smurf Blossom, who plays an excitable, energetic girl Smurf and welcomes Smurfette and her friends into their world.
Considering the summer holidays are on, you can take your little ones to the theater who may enjoy it. But you may just zone out in this very ordinary story that has very little to offer adults.
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