Cast : Neil Patrick Harris, Brendan Gleeson, Jayma Mays, Katy Perry, Hank Azaria
Director : Raja Gosnell
Genre : Comedy/animation
Story : The Smurfs 2 takes us to the mystical animated land of Smurf Village, where wise old Papa Smurf (voiced by the late Jonathan Winters) watches over a cacophony of personalities, including the narcissistic Vanity (voiced by John Oliver), grumpy Grouchy (voiced by George Lopez) and befuddled Clumsy (voiced by Anton Yelchin). But when Smurfette (voiced by Katy Perry) begins to worry that her friends have forgotten all about her birthday—actually, they’re just planning a surprise party—she wanders away from the village and walks right into the trap of the Smurfs’ longtime nemesis, the wizard Gargamel (Hank Azaria), who has created a portal that transports her into our live-action world and into his clutches.
Plot : The evil wizard Gargamel creates a couple of mischievous Smurf-like creatures called the Naughties that he hopes will let him harness the all-powerful, magical Smurf-essence. But when he discovers that only a secret spell that Smurfette knows can turn the Naughties into real Smurfs, Gargamel kidnaps Smurfette and brings her to Paris, where he has been winning the adoration of millions as the world’s greatest sorcerer. It’s up to Papa, Clumsy, Grouchy, and Vanity to return to our world, reunite with their human friends Patrick and Grace Winslow, and rescue her! Will Smurfette, who has always felt different from the other Smurfs, find a new connection with the Naughties Vexy and Hackus or will the Smurfs convince her that their love for her is True Blue?
What’s good : Azaria has undeniable energy, and the CGI cat Azrael has visual pizazz. Neil Patrick Harris, again condescending to the human-pal role, pretty much phones it in. And voicing Papa Smurf here turned out, alas, to be comedian Jonathan Winters’ final role.
What’s bad: The rest of the movie is one of the more headache-inducing blurs we’ve suffered through this year at the movies. At one point, we thought that we left our sunglasses outside the screening room, a reprieve that had more drama, humor, and suspense than anything in the actual movi
Overall : “The Smurfs 2” is a disaster. It turns Neil Patrick Harris, America’s sweetheart, into an unlikable bore. And even the voice performances (including the last ever from Jonathan Winters) feel forced and unengaged.