To be honest, I was the only one sitting in the theater watching "Smurfs: The Lost Village". I'm not joking. Maybe the reason people didn't want to watch it was either they thought this was just a movie to sell toys or it was going to be as bad as the previous attempts. The last time the Smurfs were brought to the screen turned out to be a critical disaster. The two live-action/CGI movies with the Smurfs directed by Raja Gosnell and starring Neil Patrick Harris was considered one of the worst movies made for kids in recent years. So, Sony Pictures Animation decided to kick Gosnell from the movies and reboot the series by making the film completely animated and keeping the film in the magic world created by Belgian cartoonist Peyo rather than the real world. And now we have "Smurfs: The Lost Village", a film directed by Kelly Asbury that did, in fact, ignore the previous films. So, is it a good reboot? Well, not really. It's still bad, but not as bad as the previous attempts.
Smurfette (Demi Lovato) is feeling out of place in her village of only male Smurfs. Keep in mind, she was created by the evil wizard Gargamel (Rainn Wilson) out of clay in order to attempt to capture the Smurfs, but thanks to Papa Smurf's (Mandy Patinkin) magic was able to make her a real Smurf. One day, she sees a mysterious Smurf go into a forbidden forest blocked by a brick wall. Given a clue, by the hat the mystery Smurf left behind, Smurfette, Brainy (Danny Pudi), Hefty (Joe Manganiello), and Clumsy (Jack McBrayer) go behind the wall to find the lost village to warn the mysterious Smurfs of Gargamel.
The best part of this movie is definitely the animation. It's great. Absolutely great. It's bright, colorful, creative and looks like Peyo's cartoon as the Smurfs actually look better than they did in the live action/CGI movies in which they looked really ugly. The emotional moments, while cliché, I also thought was pretty well done, with the exception of the ending which I'll get to in a minute. Sadly, the rest of the film just doesn't work like the animation. The story and characters were about as generic and cliché as you can imagine. I counted over fifteen clichés in this movie that have been used over and over again in kids movies nowadays. It was really getting tiring just groaning over the many jokes and scenes that we had seen again and again. The characters were forgettable too. I really didn't remember their personalities, catchphrases, or even what their names were, and I only saw this movie a few days ago! The villain is yet another perfect example of a one-dimensional character, which I haven't seen since "Mr. Peabody and Sherman." Now, let's talk about the part I hated the most. The ending. Without giving any spoilers, while I was watching this film, I thought the ending went on forever and it never would end. I mean, it just kept going and going and going. It was driving me nuts. But, luckily the film ended and I quickly left the theater as soon as it did.
So, "Smurfs: The Lost Village" is not a good movie. It's really mediocre at best. I'll give it credit that it tried to be a proper Smurfs movie unlike the previous attempts, but sadly it still doesn't really work. It just repeats the same tired clichés we've all seen a million times and does nothing new with them whatsoever. I really thought this movie was going to be just a cute and fun animated movie, but it's not. This movie is, in my words, another perfect example of a wasted opportunity.