Hey, I’m walkin’ here!
The Smurfs trailer offers a lot of reasons to hate this Shrek-like new abomination. We’ve got Katy Perry as Smurfette chirping, “I kissed a smurf and I liked it?” We’ve got Neil Patrick Harris endlessly repeating the movie’s single joke—that “smurf” can mean anything—as if he’s stuck in some hellish time loop. We’ve got voice acting genius Hank Azaria being whacked in the face and hit by a bus.
But the part I despise the most is Grouchy Smurf (George Lopez) referencing Midnight Cowboy in the middle of a busy New York street. I despise this worthless gag for several reasons: first of all, it’s incredibly lazy writing. Not only is it an extremely famous movie quote, but it’s one that’s become clichéd through overuse. It’s not even a knowing allusion anymore; now, it’s just the screenwriters saying, “This movie is set in New York, and we are familiar with pop culture.”
If this is even intended as an allusion, then it’s one of those half-assed over-the-kids’-heads jokes meant to convince parents that The Smurfs has something to offer them, too—that it won’t just be two hours of NPH and Hank Azaria being hit in the face. But (with any luck) this is a self-defeating proposition, because any adult who’s savvy about Dustin Hoffman playing Ratso Rizzo in a four-decade-old, X-rated movie will also know enough to stay the hell away from The Smurfs.
This trailer bespeaks a movie so unimaginative and so formulaic that it almost smacks of self-parody. The Smurfs, please get the smurf away from me, and stay there.