The Smurfs

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Let's see if we can get through this review without saying the s-word... ah, smurf it. How can anyone talk about those topless (save for Smurfette) little blue critters without saying "smurf," smurfdarnit?!? It just can't be avoided---like colon cancer, if you live long enough. Sorry, was that morbid? Blame the Smurfs movie. It makes you think about deep things, man, such as your own mortality, which you may long for more than a few times during Raja Gosnell's surreally awful live action--animation hybrid.

All you need to know about the plot is that the evil sorcerer Gargamel, played with self-respect-be-damned gusto by Hank Azaria, has driven a handful of Smurfs through a portal into modern-day Manhattan, where they take up with a harried PR man (Harris) and his twinkle-eyed pregnant wife (Mays). Then allow the succession of smurfin' obvious gags (Papa et al. conceal themselves in front of a Blue Man Group ad) and good-God-is-this-really-happening? interludes (a Guitar Hero musical number set to Aerosmith's "Walk This Way") to wash over you in all their azure glory. There's some shameless trafficking in cultural stereotypes, from Scottish Smurf Gutsy's love of haggis to the magical-mystical Asian bookshop that, shockingly, isn't owned by Ken Jeong. But how nice that the film finally allows Joan Rivers and Michael Musto, playing themselves, some shared screen time. Smurftastic! Now where's that noose?

Follow Keith Uhlich on Twitter: @keithuhlich

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Release details

Rated: PG
Release date: Friday July 29 2011
Duration: 109 mins

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