The Smurfs 2
Direction: Raja Gosnell
Voices: Katy Perry, Christina Ricci
Rating: * 1/2
Adreary sequel to the 2011 live-action/animation hybrid, The Smurfs 2 is as inert and unfunny as the original.
Based on the comic-strip characters created by the Belgian artist known as Peyo (the nom de plume of Pierre Culliford) the pint-sized critters venture outside their forest dwelling to rescue their sister (voiced by pop-singer Perry) from the clutches of a scheming sorcerer (Hank Azaria, insufferable as ever).
Neil Patrick Harris and Jayma Mays reprise their roles as the friendly human couple who come to the aid of the eponymous blue-skinned punsters. In his final film role, veteran character actor Jonathan Winters returns to voice the patriarch of the creature clan.
Of course, there is a pair of wannabe new smurfs (dubbed in appropriately rascally tones by Ricci and JB Smoove). A sub plot involving the conflict with the do-gooder granddad (Brendan Gleeson) is devoid of tension.
More juvenile than joyous, the Paris-set adventure is a time-waster. Quel dommage!