La-la la-la-la laa laaa-la-la-la-laa. Words have power. Apparently these “la’s” have the power of Smurfiness and that blue willfulness is in full supply for the very smurfilicious sequel “The Smurfs 2”.
It’s Smurfette’s birthday. That means music, colorful gifts, fanciful decorations and other celebratory details lining the mushroom halls of Smurf Village. The only problem is each year Smurfette suffers recurring dreams that confuse her about who she really is.
Attempts by her Smurf brothers to surprise Smurfette (Katy Perry) with a birthday party and the secrecy that goes with that coupled with the insecurities brought on by her birthday nightmares causes Smurfette’s standing among the bluest clan to be compromised.
With weary head and broken heart, Smurfette tries to find the truth about where she belongs. In true Smurf fashion, Smurfville woes stem from some dastardly plan of arch nemesis Gargamel (Hank Azaria). He is the true father of confusion and lies.
Sort of an origins story of the heroic she-Smurf, “The Smurfs 2” reveals how Smurfette became the only girl Smurf in the land and how her presence is a part of Gargamel’s evil plans, both past and present.
An animated/live action mix, this general audiences adventure explores themes of feeling family vs feeling abandoned. Being unsure of who we are often allows others to dictate who we become and what we will do. We each experience that and in those times it’s wonderful to have options.
Papa Smurf (Jonathan Winters) and his care for Smurfette ensures that his wayward daughter has options, so that when she is ready she can decide for herself. “It doesn’t matter where you came from. It only matters who you choose to be.”
That idea not only applies to the searching Smurfette, but also to Patrick (Neil Patrick Harris), the real world family man who shuns his past and is unable to comprehend the blessings of his present or how they will affect his future, particularly his son, Blue (Jacob Tremblay).
We’re also reminded that some are more than they seem, more than their circumstances. This movie really encourages us to give chances. Sometimes those who are naughty really want to be and are good.
A little snooze-worthy because the movie moves slowly at times and some of the cartoonish antics are out of place and overdone, “The Smurfs 2” will prove to be a fun outing for the family that will entertain mom, dad and kids. And anyone who watches cat videos regularly will love the personality and reign given to Azreal (Mr. Krinkle).
There are some really amazing camera shots and character perspectives in the movie that are intriguing like when Smurfette is trapped inside of a glass jar and this is one of the only movies this year that makes appropriate and engaging use of 3D technology.
But, in all, with great music, fascinating effects, and a wholesome storyline “The Smurfs 2” really captures what was wonderful about the television series growing up — the diverse group of Smurfs, the mushroom village, and lessons of morality disguised in Smurfy blue magic — and updates it for a new youth and cinematic experience.