The sonorous voice of the late Winters in the role of wise Papa Smurf will have old-timers pine for the zaniness that comic genius could inspire in his prime. If only The Smurfs 2 had a smidgen of that madness.
Reluctant parents: you don't need to tell your kids that you won't love them if they like "The Smurfs 2." Instead, you can silently judge them until either you and/or they simply can't bear the thought of talking to each other.
It would be too much to say that there's a good movie somewhere inside Smurfs 2 looking to get out. But it wouldn't be too much to say that sometimes, the movie we do have tries harder than we might expect.
I found "The Smurfs 2" to be more enjoyable and far less obnoxious than [the original]. This, of course, is like saying having a cavity filled is preferable to a root canal, but in the dog days of the summer blockbuster season, beggars can't be smurfers.
Voicing Papa Smurf here turned out, alas, to be comedian Jonathan Winters' final role. (A crueler fate than Orson Welles signing off with 1986's animated "The Transformers: The Movie"? You be the judge.)