Those sexist eunuchs that warped a generation discover “The Future is Female” in “Smurfs: The Lost Village,” a Neil Patrick Harris-free reboot of this insipid franchise.
There’s no live-action, Smurfs-in-the-Real-World element to the first Smurfs movie since 2013, just polished animation with a fresh set of famous actors doing the voices.
Same Smurf puns — “Code Blue!”
Same patriarchy, with Papa Smurf trying to rein in the adventurous Single Smurf Female, Smurfette.
Same “Smurf-obsessed wannabe wizard,” Gargamel.
“Smurfs! Why won’t they just DIE?”
Same candy-colored forest, this time with colorful dragonflies, Smurf-eating plants and the like. Same sort of unchallenging story, traveling through The Forbidden Forest and The Swamp of No Return, a tale aimed at five-and-unders.
Only this time, we have Oscar winner Julia Roberts as leader of an Amazonian branch of the Smurf diaspora, Michelle Rodriguez as the toughest Smurf of them all, Rainn Wilson as Gargamel, Demi Lovato as Smurfette, and Joe Manganiello as Hefty Smurf.
And since there is no point to making any cartoon without the cartoon-voiced Jack McBrayer, he’s Clumsy Smurf.
That’s the sole challenge and only entertainment value in this nicely-animated drivel, figuring out the voices. And there I’ve gone and spoiled it for you.
Do Gordon Ramsay, Titus Burgess, Ellie Kemper and Ariel Winter really voice bit parts?
The only chuckle any savvy viewer will pull from this is the sound of Mandy Patinkin as Papa Smurf. His reputation as the most unpleasant diva in Hollywood makes one laugh at him being sentenced to this Belgian blue hell, if only for the single afternoon it must have taken him to record his part.
MPAA Rating: PG for some mild action and rude humor
Cast: The voices of Demi Lovato, Julia Roberts, Rainn Wilson, Mandy Patinkin, Joe Manganiello, Michelle Rodriguez, Jack McBrayer
Running time: 1:29