People don’t often attempt to humanize film critics, and for good reason. We’re not very sympathetic characters. As a general rule, we have dandruff and smell bad. But consider the lot of the poor sad bastards who had to trudge off to the multiplex, their only hope the dream of someday reporting back to the world the continuing saga of the CGI Smurfs and their ersatz squeakuel. Can you imagine being put in such a position? What can one even say about a second Smurfs film? I had to find out, so I scoured their reviews, mining for pathos.
“The Smurfs 2” is not so much of a film as it is a collection of images and sounds that bludgeon you.” -Laremy Legel, Film.com
…a small tragedy that it will be a living nightmare for the adults. …there is no plot, nor is there a legitimate nod toward even attempting one. (ibid)
…The word “Smurf” will be used in place of words such as took, smarted, Facebook, exact, and in word variations including Stockholm Syndrome, The Heimlich Maneuver, Murphy’s Law, and of course “Smurf-tastrophe”.” (ibid)
“Smurfs 2 takes place in Paris this time around, where Gargamel (now a world famous illusionist) is enjoying a lengthy theater residency. He has created two “Naughties” (grayish purple Smurfs who like to pull pranks) in Vexy (Christiana Ricci) and Hackus (J.B. Smoove) and plans to steal Papa Smurf’s Naughty-to-Smurf formula so that he can create as many Smurfs as he wants. So he can lock them up in BSDM cages and milk them for their “essence.” I’m not making this up.” -Matt Fowler, IGN
“In keeping with these animated revivals, The Smurfs have been *shudder* updated for our times. Which means a base-jumping Gargamel, a Facebook page-having Azrael, hypnosis via iPad, a “Social Media Smurf” who puts things up on Smurfbook, and many more mini-travesties throughout.” -Matt Fowler, IGN
“Patrick and Grace get “an organic, gluten and dairy-free, antioxidant-rich, acai-berry cake made by a local baker who swears he’s never even seen a peanut.”” -Bilge Ebiri, Vulture
“the most wearisome thing about spending time with Smurfs… is their pernicious habit of inserting the word Smurf for nouns, verbs, adjectives, you name it, whenever they have anything to say. The Smurf-berries thing, for example, or one of the rescuers speculating that Smurfette, in Gargamel’s clutches, might be suffering from Smurf-holm Syndrome. Or one of them simply wondering, “Hey, who smurfed a bite of Smurfette’s birthday cake.”” -Bruce Ingram, Sun-Times
“What’s the most skin-crawling genre of the last 20 years? The torture-porn horror film? Any romantic comedy starring Gerard Butler? For my money, it’s the kiddie movie that features cuddly-cute animated heroes but is really a bonk-you-over-the-head piece of live-action junk.” -Owen Glieberman, EntertainmentWeekly
“Save the $20 and just take your kid into the backyard to pull the wings off flies, or burn ants with a magnifying glass. There’s so much torture and suffering in this movie, it starts to feel like “Zero Dark Smurfy.”” -Peter Hartlaub, SF Chronicle
“Zero Dark Smurfy.” I bet his editor pulled out a revolver and shot him with it, but instead of a bullet it was just a big white flag that said “ZING.”
In any case, I hope we’ve all learned a bit more about Smurfs 2 today. I post these words so that the suffering of these critics, in some miniscule way, shall not have been in vain.
[picture courtesy of Sony, via The SF Chron]