The little blue creatures of Smurf village move to New York City after the evil wizard Gargamel chases them out of their mushroom-like homes in the forest.
The Smurfs opening weekend has been moved around more times than a prostitute at a batchelor party. First is was supposed to open on Christmas Day 2010. But there was some CGI editing issues, so they had to postpone it. Then they decided to bring it out in late August 2011, the tail end of the summer season. But they moved that date due to too many other kids movies on the slate. Then they decided on Thanksgiving 2011. But they were scared by too much competition. Then they decided to go back Christmas again in 2011. But the studio already had another movie they wanted to open on that state. So August 5th 2011 was the final date. But at the last minute, they pushed it up a week to July 29th because they realized that perhaps this was the best weekend to make as much money as they possibly can.
And it looks like they were right. July 29th was the perfect date to give the world Smurfs. The kids were hungry for a movie because it’s been a few weeks since they had a film geared for them come out, plus the parents and adults have been getting tired of all the comic booky movies where the plots are thin but the explosions and idealistic journeys are as thick as Michael Bay’s ego.
I for one have been getting tired of them as I’ve felt very insulted this 2011 summer season. The movies are just so basic in their ideas and themes it’s like Hollywood only cares about pleasing the mind-set of a 19 year old boy. So The Smurfs was definitely a nice turn to take.
Not to say this is a profound movie in any sense. Actually, The Smurfs really is more basic than Transformer 3. But the difference is that The Smurfs knows what film it is. It doesn’t take itself too seriously. It’s hooky, but hooky in a good sense. It’s made to entertain us and make everyone, from a 3 year old to a 90 year old, laugh! Because we all know that The Smurfs don’t exist and will never exist. And that’s what makes it so much fun.
All these action and comic book movies seem to be taking themselves way to seriously. Like we’re supposed to have a human element of reality when say an alien comes down from space and gives a ring to a guy who then turns green while also having superhero powers. It’s pure fantasy, which is great, but when they try to ground the film in reality is when they’ve gone too far.
It’s the Christopher Nolan syndrome. Nolan, the director of the revamped Batman movies, grounded his superhero films. He turned The Joker character into a villain that could be true in real life. And people loved it and went to see his Batman films over and over again. So everyone else is trying to do the same thing with Tranformers, Green Lantern, Thor, Captain America etc... But not everyone has the vision of a Nolan. And not every comic book movie needs to take itself so seriously! Batman is the right fit for a reality type of film, whereas 90% of the other superhero stories are not.
So The Smurfs is so refreshing in that sense. And that’s probably why its studio moved the premiere date around so much. They knew they had a film that’s 180 degrees from what people are seeing, but it’s all about the right place and time to showcase it. And they nailed it.
In many other moments, The Smurfs would of been a complete failure at the box office because it’s really not that great of a film. But we needed this movie so badly.
This is a film that obviously took the Alvin and the Chipmunks blueprint. Throw CGI cartoon characters into a real life setting and watch the shenanigans happen. Plus it has that nostalgic factor. Most of the parents who have children now watched The Smurfs when they were kids themselves. So they want to see the film just as much as their kids do.
Personally, I watched The Smurfs when I was a kid. My older sister got me into it. And I was hooked because this concept of forming a community really appealed to me. The “socialistic” concept of setting up a co-op environment where everything is shared and people work at jobs that suit them. And the villain of Gargamel is obviously the capitalistic Tea Party voter who can’t stand those damn commies! So that’s another thing most of us can relate with. We hate Tea Party voters! So we root for The Smurfs to finally get the best out of that extreme right-wing Gargamel. Perhaps the US congress should watch this film for pointers.