Director: Raja Gosnell.
Cast: Hank Azaria, Neil Patrick Harris, Jayma Mays, (voices of) Jonathan Winters, Katy Perry, Fred Armisen, Alan Cumming, Anton Yelchin, George Lopez.
LET'S get the obvious gags out of the way first - The Smurfs isn't very smurfing good, but it's also not a complete pile of smurf.
If you thought that was bad, what 'til you've been beaten over the head with that same smurfing joke for 103 minutes. It's enough to make you want to smurf.
But the good news, should you have to endure this film with your own smurflings, is that it's not a total waste of time.
There are a couple of surprisingly clever moments, a few funny gags, and even one or two scenes that contain some genuine heart.
Plotwise, it's not much to write home about though. After a promising opening in which the Smurfs' Blue Moon Festival is interrupted by evil wizard Gargamel (Azaria) discovering their village, six of the little blue buggers are somehow whisked through a portal, ending up in New York.
Gargamel and his cat Azrael aren't far behind, and the Smurfs - Papa Smurf, Smurfette, Clumsy Smurf, Grouchy Smurf, Brainy Smurf and Scottish Stereotype Smurf (otherwise known as Gutsy Smurf) - are faced with the problem of avoiding their nemesis in a foreign land while trying to find a way home.
Why the scriptwriters felt the need to move The Smurfs into the real world is unclear, but the answer seems to be "product placement". While some of these are for the sake of gags - the Smurfs hide in front of a Blu-Ray ad, Azrael is sent flying into a Hello Kitty display, blue M&Ms are referred to as Smurf poop - some are just gratuitous, in particular a chase through a toy store and a scene where marketing executive Patrick (Harris) plays Guitar Hero with the Smurfs for no good reason.
The script is not entirely without merit. References to Smurfette being the only female, how Smurfs are named, and their annoying habit of replacing words with "smurf" are all used to make good gags, while Clumsy and Patrick actually get half-decent character arcs. Plus, the CG Smurfs look good and the cinematography is bright enough to compensate for the dullness of the 3D glasses, so there's enough eye candy for the kids.
But these things can't overcome the fact that the story is frustratingly inane and peppered with too many stupid moments, flat jokes, and smurfing smurfs of smurfs.
The biggest error though is transplanting the little blue buggers into New York, taking away much of the whimsy, fantasy and appeal of the '80s cartoon most parents will remember.