Starring: Neil Patrick Harris, Jayma Mays, Erika Rosenbaum, Hank Azaria and the voices of Katy Perry, Christina Ricci, Jimmy Kimmel (Rated G – 105 min).
Brought to big screen life for a new generation in 2011, Smurfs was a big hit and no matter how popular this sequel is at the all important box-office, a third instalment has been green lit for 2015.
Who said Hollywood has run out of original ideas? Smurfs 2 is spot-on entertainment for school holidays and adoring juniors who undoubtedly will enjoy the mischievous antics of these loveable little blue guys and one girl. Smurfette is kidnapped by Smurf village nemesis, evil wizard Gargamel (Hank Azaria delightfully overacting) and his new creations known as The Naughties. From a random book of spells, he has gleefully mixed a secret formula and has drawn all the goodness from Smurf DNA in order to devise bad versions that create nothing but trouble. Papa Smurf sends out a blue rescue squad to save her with the help of their human friends.
Paris locations are interesting and put a new spin on a needless plot, focus here is all on the blue team of animated search party. Smurfs 2 may not be a superior sequel, that doesn’t matter, children will be entranced by blue butt jokes, silly improvising humans running after ‘nothing’ and the bumbling confrontations of the various Smurfy personalities. Brainy, Vanity and Sleepy are all here. Christina Ricci is effervescent as Vexy, one of the Naughties who takes a liking to Smurfette to become against all odds, her BFF!
Also out for school holidays:
*PLANES (Rated G) is the latest from animation masters Disney and Pixar. Think of it like CARS in the sky with all the road speed chases converted to the big blue sky. A diverse voice cast includes John Cleese, Val Kilmer and Teri Hatcher. Harmless bunch of good, bad and in-between characters is a ton of fun for toddlers. Simple sky high plot needs no explanation.
*TURBO (Rated G) takes the highly unusual premise of a garden snail making the big time in Formula One car racing. Due to a need for speed and a shocking injection of nitrous oxide, Turbo the snail (voiced by Ryan Reynolds) enters the Indianapolis Grand Prix. Samuel L. Jackson as a fellow would be racing snail is amusing, however, I was very disappointed by the standard of animation.
No noticeable 3D enhancements in the above three movies. Save on the extra ticket price for the popcorn.
Shane A. Bassett