So far in this (admittedly ill-considered) Razzie Project I’ve discussed several films that were all nominated for worst movie of the year: Movie 43, Grown Ups 2, The Lone Ranger, and After Earth.  In this last review post, I’m going to discuss two films that were nominated in other categories.  Those are Battle of the Year (for Worst Supporting Actor Chris Brown) and The Smurfs 2 (for Worst Remake, Ripoff, or Sequel).

Battle of the Year poster

Let me start by saying that Battle of the Year is not a bad movie.  By which I mean it’s about as good as you can expect for a movie about competitive breakdancing.  In casting a movie like this, the producers must have wondered “should we cast actors who can dance or dancers who can act?”  As with similar movies about other types of competitions (singing, cheerleading, etc.) you’re bound to get a mix of both, with the meatier acting roles given to the people who were best at … you know.  ACTING.

BOTY Dancers

Which raises the question of why Chris Brown was cast in this movie.  My first guess was his dancing ability and my second guess was to get extra press due to his name recognition (his name is featured prominently on some of the movie posters, even though he’s actually further down in the ensemble of the cast).  My third guess was that they were looking to cast the character of an arrogant jerk with too much testosterone who gets into fights with other people, and they said, “Hey, is Chris Brown available?”

Anyway, his acting is fine, or at least passable.  But his dancing is better.  To be fair, though, you probably weren’t going to watch a break-dancing movie for the acting, anyway.

Smurfs 2 poster

Just so you know my entire Smurf background, I had watched a combined total of about ten minutes of the animated Smurfs TV show back in the day, and I had NOT watched the first Smurfs live-action movie before watching The Smurfs 2.  But I figured that I should still be able to figure out what was going on.  The most I’d thought about the Smurfs over the last year was while listening to The Bugle Podcast, which included several Smurf-related insults at John Oliver’s expense (he plays the voice of Vanity Smurf, you see).

Okay, So the evil Gargamel is trying to capture some Smurfs for his own evil purposes, which involves using complex machinery to extract their essence, which will in turn make him so powerful that he will become THE KING OF EVERYTHING.  You know, as expected.  Anyway, Gargamel has created his own inferior version of the Smurfs called the Naughties, but it turns out that he needs the Smurfs anyway, so he goes to kidnap Smurfette …

MEANWHILE, some humans who apparently bonded with the Smurfs during the first movie (Patrick and Grace Winslow) return to the story, and they are having some family drama as Patrick disapproves of his stepfather Victor and doesn’t want Victor bonding with his son Blue.  You got all that?

Okay, so a lot of stuff happens, and a lot of it is madcap and funny.  Gargamel and his alarmingly-animated cat go running around Paris, Gargamel uses his magic to turn people into things (including turning Victor into a duck).  Smurfette ends up bonding with her captors (or at least with the Naughties), and there are some entertaining chase scenes.

But here’s the thing about this movie.  Beneath all the chase scenes and the madcap antics, it has a heart.  A big, tender, beating heart.  And when Patrick learns how much his stepfather Victor loves him, and Smurfette realizes how much Papa Smurf loves her and discovers that the Smurfs DIDN’T forget her birthday after all …

Sad Smurfette

Well, the whole thing was just damned sweet.  And that’s definitely not something I ever expected to find in a Razzie-nominated movie.

Anyway, the Razzie award winners are going to be announced this weekend, and while I haven’t seen all of the nominated movies I’ve seen enough of them to make a few predictions.

For worst picture I’m voting for Movie 43, because of all the nominees I saw it was the one with the least redeeming qualities.  For worst actor I’m torn between Adam Sandler and Jaden Smith.  For Worst Screen Combo I’ll vote for The Entire Cast of Movie 43, although “Jaden Smith & Will Smith on Planet Nepotism” is an entertaining option.  And for worst screenplay, I’m also voting for Movie 43 because it was just THAT awful.  Now, of course, it’s possible that A Madea Christmas will sweep the whole thing, which would be a shame since I actually missed that one … by which I mean I think I dodged a bullet.

ETA: The results are in! 

http://www.razzies.com/history/34th-press-release.asp

It seems the voters agreed with me about the bad acting in After Earth and the general awfulness of Movie 43.  But sadly, Grown Ups 2 escaped without a scratch!

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