Clever producers and marketers have known it ever since: when in doubt, take some beloved children's comic-, cartoon- or toy-franchise and put them into a 'hip' contemporary setting (that's NYC or Los Angeles to you and me). This has worked many times before, having produced such monumental box-office hits like "Masters of the Universe", "The Neverending Story 3" and the record-breaking "Howard the Duck". Not to forget that epic events when Jason went to New York or when Mr. Bean went to Los Angeles. To paraphrase a currently fashionable comedian: all those films were "WINNING"
and so is "The Smurfs".
Hollywood, we understand that a buck means more than anything to you but please – pretty please – stop raping our childhood classics. Mr. Spielberg, if you happen to read this, please: "LEAVE TINTIN ALONE!" So as to not let this review degenerate into a complete rant: the acting was alright (for your average children's TV-show ala Sesame Street) and Frank Azaria, well, let's just say that I liked his various voices in "The Simpsons". The real problem is the Smurfs themselves, who seem soul- and lifeless as, almost as if they had been created by a computer.
How would I grade this calculated, corporate train-wreck? Well, I'll give it a finger but it certainly isn't the 'thumbs-up' one. Save a few bucks, rent the Hanna-Barbera "Smurfs"-series or treat yourself with the original, "The Smurfs and the Magic Flute".
I'll be seeing you next year for the Hollywood remake of "Asterix the Gaul". I'll let you in on a secret: Asterix and Obelix go through a mystical time-gate and end up in New York, where they'll be playing Guitar Hero with a former child-star – and it's in 3D! But all that's top-secret inside information. Now excuse me, I'll have to go and pass water over the grave of Peyo.