Belgian comic artist Peyo’s gnome-like tribe aren’t the most endearing of critters. But there’s a horde of kids – and a few ageing stoners – out there who find their anarchic mayhem entertaining. Like its 2011 predecessor, ‘The Smurfs 2’ mixes live action with animation. The plot, for what it’s worth, involves a search-and-rescue mission to return kidnapped Smurfette and an over-ambitious scheme to rule the world by wicked magician Gargamel (Hank Azaria from ‘The Simpsons’).
Put aside the ‘message’ (every cartoon needs one) that it doesn’t matter if you’re a little bit different, there’s a modicum of fun to be found in the blue-hued special effects, knockabout humour and decent voice cast. What isn’t so charming is Azaria’s irritatingly over-egged impersonation of the Child Catcher in ‘Chitty Chitty Bang Bang’ – that and the headache-inducing 3D