The Smurfs 2 (U) 104 mins **
Brand Smurf retains its plasticky novelty throughout this overstuffed, Paris-set outing, which packages its funny gags between enough daddy issues for all the world’s children and occasional reaches for sincerity, undermined by the fact this is, au fond, stone-cold third-quarter Sony product. The interplay between animated and live-action elements remains a selling point: Hank Azaria again gives exemplary pantomime as Gargamel, and there’s a welcome appearance from Brendan Gleeson, second only to, say, Liam Fox as the person you’d least expect to see in a Smurf movie. A painless holidaykiller, if not – you know – actually terribly worthwhile.
The Smurfs 2 is in cinemas nationwide.