Film

Smurfs: The Lost Village

Back in blue

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Sony Pictures Animation has gone back to the well and unapologetically left adults behind for the third entry in their Smurfs franchise. Discarding the combination of live-action and animation that marked the first two efforts, Smurfs: The Lost Village is strictly animated and geared only for younger viewers. The reboot directed by Kelly Asbury (Shrek 2) should please its target audience while providing little entertainment value to any adult chaperones who appreciated Neil Patrick Harris and Hank Azaria’s enjoyably over-the-top turns in the first two films.

Co-scripter Pamela Ribon introduces a pronounced feminist theme into the story similar to that of her most recent credit, Moana. Set entirely in the Smurfs’ fantastical village (no trips to New York City here), it revolves around Smurfette (Demi Lovato), the only female of the species. Upon discovering a mysterious map, she sets off with her fellow Smurfs Brainy (Danny Pudi), Clumsy (Jack McBrayer), and Hefty (Joe Manganiello)—no extra points for guessing these characters’ personality traits—through the Forbidden Forest in search of answers.

The Smurfs’ arch-nemesis, the evil wizard Gargamel (Rainn Wilson), and his feline and avian underlings are in hot pursuit, as is the concerned Papa Smurf (Mandy Patinkin). The Smurfs’ adventures include a harrowing whitewater rafting chase, as well as encounters with dragonfly-like insects, Venus Flytrap-style plants and giant, glowing bunny rabbits with a propensity for stampeding. (For further details on the plot, please consult a small child).

Eventually the Smurfs encounter a whole tribe of female counterparts in the Lost Village. They’re led by the commanding SmurfWillow (Julia Roberts, whose children are presumably Smurfs fans), who at one point engages in a coy flirtation with a clearly smitten Papa Smurf (ew!). It all ends with a dance celebrating girl power, accompanied on the soundtrack by Meghan Trainor’s new song, “I’m a Lady.”

Featuring computer animation so brightly colored and frenetically paced that it potentially threatens the well-being of both diabetics and epileptics, the film is purely for the small fry. Unless, that is, you’re the type of adult who finds amusement in the wizard’s description of one of his secret ingredients for a spell as “a piece of cheese I left in my underpants.” Very young children may become upset when Smurfette—spoiler alert—becomes transformed into an inanimate lump of clay (admittedly, not much different from her usual appearance), before she’s—spoiler alert, again—miraculously brought back to life.

Why the makers of animated films, especially those geared to younger audiences, feel the need to pony up for big-name talent to provide the voices is a mystery. It’s pretty unlikely that children will care, for instance, that Joe Manganiello plays Hefty, and any mothers in attendance will only be annoyed that he’s not in the picture for real, with his shirt off.

Featuring a relentless barrage of the sort of bland pop songs designed to fill out a soundtrack CD, Smurfs: The Lost Village is a mediocre effort that nonetheless succeeds in its main goal of keeping its blue characters alive for future merchandising purposes.

3 Oms 8th Anniversary (Spotlight)
More Film...
Girls Trip
It’s ladies night

It’s barely been a month since the joyless Rough Night came and went in a blur of indifference, and this new comedy on paper could almost be the same movie—only with black sorority sisters and no corpse to dampen the weekend getaway. The difference is that Girls Trip actually delivers on…

more »
War for the Planet of the Apes
Render unto Caesar

Almost as rare as winning the Triple Crown in horse racing is to make a film trilogy that clicks from beginning to end, but Fox has pretty much pulled it off with its refurbished Planet of the Apes trio. After surprising everyone who felt the half-century-old franchise had been buried for…

more »
Spider-Man: Homecoming
Marvel’s Boy Wonder

At no point in Spider-Man: Homecoming is anyone bitten by a radioactive spider. That’s already happened—not just in two prior Spider-Man movies, but also in the world of this new one, populated by an ever-growing roster of Avengers. The fateful encounter between a teenage egghead and a…

more »
Events
Today
Sounds by the bay

9:41am

Sounds by the bay

9:41am

The soundtrack of summer

10:16am

Look to the skies

8:43pm

Sounds by the bay

9:41am

Look to the skies

8:43pm

Sounds by the bay

9:41am

Look to the skies

8:43pm

Sounds by the bay

9:41am

Skagit Tours

10:00am|Highway 20

Bard on the Beach

2:00pm|Vanier Park

I and You

7:30pm|Bellingham Theatre Guild

Project Homeless Connect

9:00am|Bellingham High School

Wild Things

9:30am|Boulevard Park

Community Quilt Project

10:00am|Deming Library

Plover Ferry Rides

12:00pm|Blaine Harbor

Plover Rides

12:00pm|Blaine Harbor

Mission Folk Music Festival

12:00pm|Fraser River Heritage Park

North Cascades Vintage Fly-In

12:00pm|Concrete

Books and Bites

1:00pm|Blaine Library

Ferndale Farmers Market

3:00pm|Centennial Riverwalk Park

Pop-Up Beer Garden

3:00pm|Fairhaven

Sin & Gin Tours

4:00pm|Downtown Bellingham, historic Fairhaven

Food Not Bombs

4:00pm|downtown Bellingham

Commercial Street Night Market

6:00pm|Commerical Street

Family Story Night

6:00pm|Fairhaven Library

Port of Anacortes Summer Concert Series

6:00pm|Seafarers Park

The Drowsy Chaperone

7:00pm|Bellingham Arts Academy for Youth

Burlington Summer Nights

7:00pm|Burlington Visitors Center Amphitheater

Dancing on the Green

7:00pm|Fairhaven Village Green

Skagit River Shakespeare Festival

7:00pm|Rexville Grange Amphitheater

Sandcastle

7:30pm|Firehouse Performing Arts Center

Festival of Music Finale

7:30pm|Performing Arts Center

An Improvised Musical

9:00pm|Upfront Theatre

Trove
Tomorrow
Sounds by the bay

9:41am

Sounds by the bay

9:41am

Look to the skies

8:43pm

Sounds by the bay

9:41am

Look to the skies

8:43pm

Sounds by the bay

9:41am

Look to the skies

8:43pm

Sounds by the bay

9:41am

Skagit Tours

10:00am|Highway 20

Bard on the Beach

2:00pm|Vanier Park

I and You

7:30pm|Bellingham Theatre Guild

Plover Rides

12:00pm|Blaine Harbor

Mission Folk Music Festival

12:00pm|Fraser River Heritage Park

Plover Ferry Rides

12:00pm|Blaine Harbor

North Cascades Vintage Fly-In

12:00pm|Concrete

Pop-Up Beer Garden

3:00pm|Fairhaven

Sin & Gin Tours

4:00pm|Downtown Bellingham, historic Fairhaven

The Drowsy Chaperone

7:00pm|Bellingham Arts Academy for Youth

Skagit River Shakespeare Festival

7:00pm|Rexville Grange Amphitheater

Sandcastle

7:30pm|Firehouse Performing Arts Center

An Improvised Musical

9:00pm|Upfront Theatre

Plant Hike

7:00am|Grouse Ridge

Twin Sisters Farmers Market

9:00am|North Fork Library, Nugents Corner

Anacortes Farmers Market

9:00am|Depot Arts Center

Mount Vernon Farmers Market

9:00am|Riverfront Plaza

Forest Owners Field Day

9:00am|Alexander Ross Tree Farm

Blaine Gardeners Market

10:00am|H Street Plaza

Lummi Island Saturday Market

10:00am|Lummi Island

Bellingham Farmers Market

10:00am|Depot Market Square

Summer Harvest Day

10:00am|Cloud Mountain Farm Center

Birch Bay Sandcastle Competition

10:00am|Birch Bay Community Park

Fairhaven Steampunk Festival

10:00am|Fairhaven Village Green

Correspondence Club

10:30am|Mindport Exhibits

Summer Sampling Party

11:00am|Skagit Valley Food Co-op

Plover Rides

12:00pm|Blaine Harbor

Plover Ferry Rides

12:00pm|Blaine Harbor

Farm to Glass Distillery Tours

12:00pm|BelleWood Acres

Weaving Indra's Net

12:30pm|Lummi Island Library

Curator Talk and Clayton James Celebration

1:00pm|Museum of Northwest Art

Artifacts of time and place

1:00pm

Field Games Day

1:00pm|VanderYacht Park

Beauty Lou and the Country Beast

3:00pm|Mount Baker Theatre

Nooksack River Walk

3:00pm|Horseshoe Bend Trailhead

Taste of Walla Walla Dinner Cruise

5:00pm|Cap Sante Marina

Wine and Paint

6:30pm|Stoneycreek Glassware

Feast & Frolic in the Fields

6:30pm|Viva Farms

Larry Hildes Benefit Concert

7:00pm|Bellingham Unitarian Fellowship

Look to the skies

8:43pm

Bellingham Farmer’s Market Lester and Hyldahl
Sunday
Sounds by the bay

9:41am

Look to the skies

8:43pm

Sounds by the bay

9:41am

Look to the skies

8:43pm

Sounds by the bay

9:41am

Look to the skies

8:43pm

Sounds by the bay

9:41am

Skagit Tours

10:00am|Highway 20

Bard on the Beach

2:00pm|Vanier Park

I and You

7:30pm|Bellingham Theatre Guild

North Cascades Vintage Fly-In

12:00pm|Concrete

Mission Folk Music Festival

12:00pm|Fraser River Heritage Park

Plover Rides

12:00pm|Blaine Harbor

Plover Ferry Rides

12:00pm|Blaine Harbor

Pop-Up Beer Garden

3:00pm|Fairhaven

The Drowsy Chaperone

7:00pm|Bellingham Arts Academy for Youth

Skagit River Shakespeare Festival

7:00pm|Rexville Grange Amphitheater

Birch Bay Sandcastle Competition

10:00am|Birch Bay Community Park

Plover Rides

12:00pm|Blaine Harbor

Plover Ferry Rides

12:00pm|Blaine Harbor

Farm to Glass Distillery Tours

12:00pm|BelleWood Acres

Look to the skies

8:43pm

Rabbit Ride

8:00am|Fairhaven Bicycle

Rabbit Ride

8:00am|Fairhaven Bicycle

Vietnam Veterans Car Show

10:00am|Barkley Village

Forest Walk

11:00am|Fairhaven Park

Plover Ferry Rides

12:00pm|Blaine Harbor

Plover Rides

12:00pm|Blaine Harbor

La Conner Live!

1:00pm|Gilkey Square

Brewers by the Bay

1:00pm|Depot Market Square

Audubon at the Museum

2:00pm|Whatcom Museum's Old City Hall

Angels in America

2:00pm|Lincoln Theatre

MBT Open House

2:00pm|Mount Baker Theatre

Fiddlin' Fox Summer Concert Series

2:00pm|Fairhaven Village Green

Trivia Night

5:00pm|Boundary Bay Brewery

Marrowstone Music Festival

7:00pm|Western Washington University

Mousetrap Auditions

7:00pm|Bellingham Theatre Guild

see our complete calendar »

Cascadia Weekly Subscribe Ad 1 Trove Lester and Hyldahl Village Books Bellingham Farmer’s Market