Thanks to Sony Pictures Australia we had the chance to see ‘The Smurfs: Lost Village’ before its national release. This is our review of the movie, but as usual, no matter what we say, we still recommend you to go and see it at your local cinema because there is no better critic than yourself!

The Smurfs are back! (Third time lucky?). After two previous Smurfs films mixed animation with live action the reboot “Smurfs: Lost Village” is all animation the focus only on the Smurf world. “Smurfs: Lost Village” has a whole new cast most notably with Demi Lovato replacing Katy Perry as Smurfette.

The film centres around Smurfette’s struggles to fit in and find her purpose in Smurf Village (a village only populated by male Smurfs). After Smurfette, Hefty, Clumsy and Brainy discover the evil wizard Gargamel’s plans to hunt down and destroy a secret Smurf village in the forbidden forest. Smurfette and her friends must find and warn the village about the plan. Note: After killing a Smurf, you absorb their power.

“Smurfs: Lost Village” ticks the “kids” film boxes, slapstick comedy, simplistic plot, catchy songs and feel good themes about identity, love and standing up for one’s self. The film follows the well worn track providing no new insights or anything original to the “kids film” genre. One of the films major problems is its villain Gargamel. The character is neither scary enough or funny enough to make an impression. Instead, he comes across as extremely stupid and creepy. After Gargamel says the secret ingredient in his magic potion was (something along the lines of) “a piece of cheese I keep in my underwear” I knew it was going downhill…(and that was only 20 minutes in!)

“Smurfs: Lost Village’s” main focus is supposed to be Smurfette finding purpose and her internal journey of self-discovery. Instead the film gets side tracked pretty quickly focussing on Gargamel making a fool of himself in a cloud of cheap jokes. If the film fleshed out Smurfette’s character a bit more, showing her struggles with self acceptance and identity the film could have dealt with some interesting issues and made a lasting impact. The film is a paradox. Its main message is about authenticity and not fitting in a certain box as Smurfette “doesn’t have just one personality trait” (she can be the smart Smurf, sporty Smurf etc etc)… Meanwhile Hefty, Clumsy and Brainy all conform to stereotypes. The film could have placed a greater emphasis in putting nuance into their personalities.

“The Smurfs: Lost Village” use of bright colours, jokes and soundtrack will make it a film loved by kids. Although it does explore some good themes (the feminism agenda) and has a light fun feel the film’s “journey” plot lacks originality and the Smurfs once again will be soon forgotten.

In Cinemas 30th March!

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