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"Smurfs 2": The Franchise Gets Weirder with Hints of Gang-Smurfing 

Wednesday, Jul 31 2013
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Let's consider The Smurfs 2. PRO: It was actually shot in 3-D (rather than post-converted), the Paris locations are very pretty, and the film spends more time in Smurf Village than the original. CON: There's nowhere left for the story to go, but it'll go there anyway in 2015's already-announced Smurfs 3. PRO: The movie passes the Bechdel Test in the first 10 minutes. CON: There are 95 minutes left, and a fart joke. PRO: Papa Smurf is the last role of the legendary comedian Jonathan Winters, and as final pictures go, he still leaves with more dignity than Frank Sinatra did in Cannonball Run II. CON: As great as it is to hear Jonathan Winters one last time, his comedic talents go unused, all the more surprising for a movie which relies so much on jokes improvised by the voice cast. PRO: As humans, Neil Patrick Harris and Brendan Gleeson bring genuine emotion to their scenes as an estranged son and stepfather. CON: The kid behind you will get bored and kick your chair during those scenes, unless they're fascinated by bird-allergy debates. PRO: Christina Ricci's black-and-blue-haired Vexy is delightfully smurfable. CON: Actually, Vexy is almost disturbingly smurfable — and the intimation of a gang-smurf at the end doesn't help. So watch wisely.

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Sherilyn Connelly

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