By Melissa Antoinette Garza
I was never as opposed to THE SMURFS (2011) or THE SMURFS 2 (2013) as most people. Some of my favorite online critics and podcast hosts voiced how much they loathed the films, but I enjoyed them, for what they were. I can’t speak for the later ALVIN and THE CHIPMUNKS features, but the first two were fine.
Still, I was extremely happy when I saw the trailer for SMURFS: THE LOST VILLAGE (2017). I was happy the human aspect was out of it and that it was fully animated. I was a fan of the show as a child, and who doesn’t love the “Gnap Gnap” Zombie Smurf tale. Depending where you are in the world it’s either called THE PURPLE SMURF or THE BLACK SMURF, and if you haven’t heard of it find the cartoon or buy the book.
Today, I needed a pick-me-up film. I needed something that I knew wasn’t going to be heavy. I’ve been going through a record amount of negative drama due to my current employer and I just wanted something silly, sweet and fun.
My husband was kind enough to take me to this. Bear in mind, we have no children and he is not generally a fan of these movies. He didn’t like TROLLS (2016), THE MINIONS (2015) or FROZEN (2013), but I married the greatest man in the world who took me to all three though those were at least with my niece and/or nephew.
So, we bought tickets to see it in 3D, but the 2D version was accidentally shown. No biggie. I didn’t really care and there were just a few of us in the theater that I watched it in 2D. Side note, Cinemark cinemas in West Springfield MA are the bomb. After the flick, I went over just to let the customer service center know so they could switch the digital copy in the back so the next showing was 3D and I made it perfectly clear that I wasn’t looking for a refund. The manager insisted on giving us two free passes. The cinemas are my hideaway get-out during my worst days. It’s dark, everyone is focused on the film so I can sort of still be alone and not socialize, yet get out of the house so I’m not a complete hermit.
As for SMURFS: THE LOST VILLAGE (2017), I loved it. It was exactly what I needed. It was a nostalgic throwback to the show, with a focus on comradeship, and moments of genuine hilarity that helped me put my worries on the backburner for a bit.
It opens as the Smurfs each go through a regular introduction of their name/characteristic culminating on them asking the question of what Smurfette (Demi Lovato) is. Smurfette is even asking this question herself.
They delve into her backstory showing Gargamel (Rainn Wilson) creating her from black magic and clay. His plan was for Smurfette to infiltrate the small blue men, but instead Papa Smurf (Mandy Patinkin) convinces her that she’s good on the inside and she joined forces with the Smurfs.
Still, she doesn’t know what she is. For so long, she’s defined as the only female Smurf, but that was it.
Smurfette along with Hefty (Joe Manganiello), Clumsy (Jack McBrayer) and Brainy (Danny Pudi) venture out finding evidence of another undiscovered Smurf village. Gargamel gets the news just as fast, and heads out with his beloved cat Azrael (Frank Welker) and bird Monty (Dee Bradley Baker). The two groups are on a race with one another to get to the undiscovered village; the Smurfs to save them and Gargamel to imprison them and use them in his magic to take over the world.
When Papa Smurf finds out the 4 Smurfs defied his orders to go find the new place, he goes after them. Meanwhile, when the new village is found, it shocks everyone that all the Smurfs there are female. They even have a female version of Papa Smurf that runs the girl village.
During the adventure, Smurfette learns a lot about herself and subsequently the rest of the Smurfs learn a lot about her too.
Overall, the film sped by. The visuals, on their own, are amazing. I love the colors used and how everything stood out beautifully. The storyline was much stronger and better constructed than the previous Smurf films.
It’s captures the best of old and new. This is certainly something adults and children will both enjoy seeing. Even the hubby liked it!
Scared Stiff Rating: 7.5/10