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Smurfs 2, The (3D)


Stars: Hank Azaria, Brendan Gleeson, Neil Patrick Harris, Jayma Mays. Voices: Jonathan Winters, Katy Perry, Christina Ricci, Anton Yelchin, George Lopez, J B Smoove, Alan Cumming, Gary Basaraba, Keenan Thompson, Shaquille O'Neal, Paul Reubens, Jeff Foxworthy

Director: Raja Gosnell

The mixture as before. Once again Smurfette (Perry), the only girl in the Smurf village, is enticed through a portal into the real world by the evil magician Gargamel (Azaria) who, with a little help from his cynical ginger cat Azrael (Mr Krinkle) plans to extract the 'formula' from her, which will, of course, enable him to control the world.

Four of the little blue men follow through the portal to save Smurfette before she can fall victim to Gargamel's plans. He's additionally assisted by two Smurf-sized servants, Vexy (Ricci) and Hackus (Smoove). It's their job to try to win Smurfette over, but they only succeed in forming a sibling-like bond with her.

This time the Smurfs end up in Paris - cue some blazingly colourful photography by Phil Meheux, deadened when you put on your 3D glasses - and are once again helped by Patrick (Harris) and his family, plus his Irish stepfather (Gleeson). It's vaguely amusing to watch Gleeson transformed into a large duck (and back) - he does it very well - but otherwise, this is very simple-minded stuff for tinies, with the inevitable moral at the end.

'It doesn't matter where you come from,' rumbles Pop (the late Winters). 'It's what you choose to be.' He also grumbles 'This is the worst trip of my life,' near the end, although he's not to know Smurfs 3 is surely just around the next portal.

The rating reflects my agony in having to sit though this but, to be fair, it probably should get another two stars if you're under six years old.

David Quinlan

USA 2013. UK Distributor: Sony (Columbia). Colour by deluxe.
100 minutes. Not widescreen. UK certificate: U.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 0, Violence/Horror 0, Drugs 0, Swearing 0.

Review date: 26 Jul 2013