Director: Kelly Asbury
Cast: Demi Lovato, Rainn Wilson, Joe Manganiello, Jack McBrayer, Danny Pudi, Mandy Patinkin, Julia Roberts
Age Restriction: PG V
Runtime: 1hr 30min
Release date: 31 March 2017
After two atrocious live-action films which somehow went on to make boatloads of cash; Sony is hitting the redo button with their next Smurfs offering.
The latest chapter is a fully animated feature that the film studio hopes will redeem the franchise – and continue to be a profitable juggernaut for years to come.
After a few clues point to the existence of another Smurfs village; the tiny blue critters journey to find this legendary 'lost village', in hopes of warning its inhabitants of impending danger.
You see, the evil wizard Gargamel (Rainn Wilson) has discovered the location of this mythical lost village; and plans on kidnapping its Smurf inhabitants in order to extract their essence – which would grant him magic to become the most powerful wizard of all time.
The animation is exquisite to look at, transporting viewers deep into the Smurfs' fantastical lore; with imaginative eye-catching designs that resemble its original comic book counterpart on which the characters are based.
With Shrek 2 director Kelly Asbury behind the helm, and the aim to take the tiny blue critters back to their roots; Sony ensures that the Smurfs reboot wipes the slate clean on a positive note.
The plot is very much in line with the comic book and the early Smurfs cartoons that we all know and love.
The script by Stacey Harman and Pamela Ribon takes audiences on a nostalgic action-packed adventure that remains fun, mysterious and heartfelt throughout its 90 minute runtime.
The characters help move the story forward, particularly Smurfette (Demi Lovato) who has a complex story arc that will intrigue and tug at viewers' heartstrings.
Speaking of Smurfette, you'll never say that Lovato is the one behind the voice. The singer/actress is so well-suited to the character that her voice is completely unrecognisable.
Other voice-acting standouts include: Julia Roberts, Mandy Patinkin, Jack McBrayer – and particularly Rainn Wilson as the evil Gargamel.
The only problem with the latest Smurf adventure is that its story doesn't break any new ground. However, this can easily be overlooked as the story is an entertaining, nostalgic thrill ride.
The jokes are squarely aimed at the young ones which is a real shame, considering the film's potential to get the adults laughing as well.
Verdict: Fun, nostalgic and eye-catching; Smurfs: The Lost Village removes the sour taste of the past two films, and successfully affirms to the world why another Smurfs adventure is a good idea.