I was well prepared to hate this. It has all the problems of the original source; the lalala song and the overuse of the word "Smurf" and all its variants. It has some horrible choices in voice talent, Katy Perry and George Lopez stand out. George Lopez as a smurf... really. Sigh. It has huge pop cultural references thanks to its plot that lands the smurfs in New York City. It is a huge idol of commercialism that pretends to be anti-commercialism with an all too flimsy plot. Yep, I was prepared to hate this.
But I couldn't.
Like in the "Hitchhiker's Guide To The Universe," I had to raise my evaluation to "Mostly Harmless." Firstly, it turned out to be a perfectly fine kids film. I don't expect kids to have the dislike I have to George Lopez (best examined in "Family Guy," "George Lopez continues the stereotype that George Lopez is funny.") The film's plot works, it's funny, and the actors are willing to be silly. The stand outs are Hank Azeria as Gargamel and Neil Patrick Harris. Hank Azeria overacts with fun abandon where as NPH pulls back and is voice of snide sanity. It creates a nice balance of views. I loved how Gargamel would enjoy pretending that steam vents were ultra dramatic fog to come out of.
There are definitely worse things to show your kids.