My initial reaction when I found out that there was actually going to be a live-action Smurfs movie set in New York City was: "Like that will ever work." And you know what? I wasn't wrong.
Now I will admit that, when I was a kid, I liked the Smurfs. They appeared as a rerun in my Saturday morning line-up (along with the original Transformers). However Hollywood does not seem to care that they are slowly, but surely, ruining my childhood.
The ever-so-talented Neil Patrick Harris gives an Oscar-worthy performance as Patrick, an New Yorker advertising agent who is on the brink of a new promotion and fatherhood. As luck would have it, a small band of blue people find their way into Patrick's life after barely escaping with their own lives from an evil sorcerer known as Gargamel.
How would you like that? Everything in your life is finally going your way and then, all of a sudden, the Smurfs show up, bringing all kinds of magical mischief with them. That'd be pretty annoying wouldn't it? Well "annoying" is the perfect word to describe this joyless setback .
Why is it so annoying and joyless? Well for one thing the jokes throughout The Smurfs are so pointed and painfully obvious that the only time I laughed was from embarassment for the actors; Like when Smurette (Voiced by Katy Perry, mind you) says "I kissed a smurf and I liked it." On top of that we have to endure an onslaught of endless "blue" jokes and a barrage of "Smurf" innuendos.
Another thing that I found to be quite annoying was this film's excessive attempts to be hip and relevant- not just by bringing the Smurfs into real life New York, but by getting the biggest names to voice the smurfs, no matter how untalented or awkward the voices are for the bodies. Also by using awesome songs where they don't fit (like AC/DC's Back In Black) and even going as far as putting sunglasses on Papa Smurf on the cover of the soundtrack.
As for the live action characters, they are just as unreal as their CGI co-stars. The performances are boring and lackluster; it's even irritating how believable the characters are.