It’s been four years since we’ve had our last theatrical ‘Smurfs’ movie, and after much demand we finally have another ‘Smurfs’ movie to be excited about. Instead of continuing the fascinating story of Neil Patrick Harris’ character Patrick over his many moral family problems, we are hitting the reboot button, a first for a CGI animated franchise! Is this ‘The Smurfs’ movie we deserve or is it like the other critically panned ‘Smurfs’ movies we’ve gotten in the past? Let’s Smurf this movie out (and yes, the painstakingly annoying Smurf puns are back, but thankfully to limited degree this time around, so yay?)
Welcome to Smurf village, a place where boy Smurfs are living, except for one – Smurfette. She is having an identity crisis. Everyone else in the village knows where they belong like Brainy Smurf, Nosy Smurf, Paranoid Smurf, Chef Smurf, Psychologist Smurf (I’m not making these names up), except Smurfette who doesn’t know what she is good at. Is she a grumpy Smurf? Is she a smart Smurf? She constantly needs to know where she belongs in Smurf village. However, she looks over the garden wall and sees an unknown Smurf. Intrigued, she sets out to explore, along with some Smurfy friends of course, and finds out who this unknown Smurf is.
I know this is a reboot, but because the other films are still in recent memory, this film goes through plot beats that we’ve seen before in the previous ‘Smurfs’ movies. Smurfette’s origin story was referenced in the first film and explored in its sequel, an unknown Smurf is similar to what happened in ‘The Smurfs 2’. The reboot feels predictable and has this feeling of been here, Smurfed that! We are following, yet again, Smurfette who had a larger focus in ‘The Smurfs 2’, and Gargamel trying to capture Smurf essence, yet again. It gets to a point where it feels tiring and stale by now.
Even with the familiar plot threads, the story is a little stronger than the live-action/CGI hybrid ‘Smurfs’ movies of the past. The film is a simple road story that we’ve gotten from recent films like ‘Frozen’ and ‘Moana’, but this film doesn’t offer too much outside of some creative elements like caves that never join up and glow-in-the-dark bunnies.
‘Smurfs: The Lost Village’ has lots of jokes that aim for younger children, with a few chuckles here and there for adult viewers. While it may not be that funny, its animation is fluid and pretty, showing off colourful worlds and cartoony characters, yet still capturing the CGI animation style that audiences have become accustomed to.
‘Smurfs: The Lost Village’ is slightly better than the two forgettable entries, but still contains the same Smurf essence that we’ve seen before. Yes, it is colourful and the animation is vibrant and fluid, however the film fails to capture audiences and go more in-depth with these characters beyond their typical stereotyped personalities.
‘Smurfs: The Lost Village’ is dull and tiring, but at least its not the kind of Smurf-astrophe that we’ve seen before.