How on earth did such ugly little turds of tackiness become a trend for countless generations? Why did those corporate heads at Paramount assume the right to create whatever they blindly assumed people wanted to see? In consideration of the traditionally European garden gnomes, why is Watson, colleague of Sherlock Gnomes, voiced by a Black actor? Why would that make any sense aside from making an ethnically diverse cast just for the sake of it? While we’re at it, why does the sole Black woman present provide her voice for a doll with huge curves who sings in a Beyoncé-style concert? As for the Chinese, why are they made to look dumb in comparison by a knick-knack society full of incompetent fortune cat soldiers beneath an empress kitty? Do these producers really care about political correctness?
Let’s discuss the new adventures between Gnomeo and Juliet, who now must adjust to living in a new muddy environment located in a London backyard. That is, everything after the first twenty minutes takes place outside without any mention of the new home’s condition, the focus instead on a phoned-in romance between Gnomeo and Juliet that has no real continuation off the first movie. Character development is attempted on Juliet’s behalf, except in the end, everything she learns is stuff she knew the whole time anyway. Meanwhile, Sherlock Gnomes gets them caught up in a case to rescue their lost garden gnome community. This super unlikable piece of live pottery has zero urgencies, therefore, lacks motivation behind his many actions.
Despite a fresh color palette that resembles your own backyard, this production stands in a tall order that gives an uncomfortable impression. A clever choice in contrasting these cartoonish gnomes against realistically shaped humans, faces obscured, matters none in enhancing any redemption. I want to mention the lack of effective bookends: its storybook opening much like old Disney films does not close in the same way when it’s over and is the only place in the entire movie when cheap gnome puns are attempted. That’s right: the puns here, unlike what the trailer wanted you to think, are pretty much absent.
In fact, most scenes you saw in the insufferable trailer aren’t in the final cut at all: it lied to you in its false advertising. It wanted you to think that this is a fast-paced joke-a-minute smorgasbord of toilet humor, but in truth: no tone, or humor, appears to ever even be attempted. I swear, mere hours after, it already felt like months passed since I let this motion picture torture me.
In fact, the theater I saw this feature in was nowhere near full; all the kids kept silent. Director John Stevenson’s (Kung Fu Panda) allowed Sherlock to articulate well, except boys cannot relate in any way to Sherlock Holmes, nor can girls find crude bearded ceramic ornaments cute. Likewise, the parents will enjoy the surface-level disaster even less. You may argue you should never think too hard about kid’s entertainment—though let me remind you: KIDS GROW UP! Someday said kids will look back and realize the true horror of old entertainment, perhaps by nitpicking the nonsensical world rules:
- What’s the history of the gnomes’ social structure?
- What do they eat?
- Obviously, gnomes cannot reproduce, so how do they have parents?
- Do they ever deliberate the weather conditions before city excursions; considering their delicate clay bodies?
- Do the humans notice gnomes scattered in random spots around the city?
- Where does Mr. Gnomes put his hope?
- Why does this all sound so much like the setup of Toy Story… a movie I’d rather be watching?
The in-your-face 3D visuals keep enforcing hip current trends, such as dabbing, or hip dead trends such as a selfie stick, while the bothersome pop music drains out the ambience sound with a random musical number. It pretty much feels the producers were stuck on a potential March release, skimmed through past animated works, found Gnomeo & Juliet did well enough, then just threw together a sequel by thinking of another classic novel that could become a cheap gnome pun.
Kids deserve better than some patio mud pile feast, so I hope you’ll do better than support Paramount by turning down the temptation to purchase a garden gnome to plague your own Instagram feed.
If there is a specific movie you’d like to see graded, or if you are interested in guest blogging for my site, please email me at Trevor@TrevorsViewOnHollywood.com for your recommendations.
Have a great weekend, and happy watching!
Hammond, Pete. “‘Sherlock Gnomes’ Review: It’s No Mystery Why This Lazy Animated Sequel Is Just For Kids.” Digital image. Deadline. WordPress, 22 Mar 2018. Web. <http://deadline.com/2018/03/sherlock-gnomes-review-johnny-depp-chiwetel-ejiofor-elton-john-1202351932/>.
Sherlock Gnomes. Paramount Pictures. Web. <http://www.sherlockgnomes.com/>.