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REVIEW: 'The Smurfs' Will Delight Kids, Debilitate Parents

Those loveable blue, three apple-tall creatures have been pried from their innocent cartoons and comic strips and slapped on the big screen in "The Smurfs," one of the most annoying movies of our young century.

To be fair, the loud, brash and constantly chaotic Smurfs will have anyone five years or younger laughing their faces blue over the cutesy and ridiculous antics. Adults, on the other hand, will endure excessive noise, migraine-inducing 3D gimmicks, bad jokes, and the ceaseless singing of the classic Smurf song.

The pack of writers who worked on the movie mainly focused on the zany and slapstick in order to milk all that the 3D could handle making the movie feel more like an out-of-control carnival ride than a feature film.

We are given only the briefest of introductions to the Smurfs' cartoon habitat by Peyo before the Smurfs are thrown through a portal into modern day New York City. Chased into our world by the evil Gargamel, hammed up by Hank Azaria (“The Simpsons”, “The Birdcage”), the Smurfs find shelter with advertising exec Patrick Winslow (Neil Patrick Harris) and his pregnant wife (Jayma Mays). The Smurfs need Winslow to help them get home and Winslow needs the Smurfs to help him find the strength to become a good father.

A who’s who of pop culture make appearances in the film. Sofia Vergara (“Modern Family”) is an advertising mogul who gets a taste of Gargamel’s powers and Tim Gunn (“Project Runway”) is her loyal assistant. Pop singer Katy Perry layers on the sugar and makes Smurfette extra sweet. Other celebs that lend their voices to “The Smurfs” are Alan Cumming, Fred Armisen, Jeff Foxworthy, Wolfgang Puck, B.J. Novack and Paul Reubens

One highlight is hearing comedian Jonathan Winters return to acting as the voice of Papa Smurf.

So while Sony’s reinvention of “The Smurfs” may prove to be successful for kids who have never seen or heard of the tiny blue creatures, those who are familiar with Peyo’s zany Belgian series will cringe at this live action/animated hybrid.

2 out of 5 Stars

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