Directed by: John Stevenson | Produced by: David Furnish, Steve Hamilton Show | Screenplay by: Ben Zazove, Kevin Cecil, Andy Riley | Starring: James McAvoy, Emily Blunt, Johnny Depp, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Maggie Smith, Michael Caine, Mary J. Blige | Music by: Chris Bacon | Edited by: Prakash Patel, Mark Solomon | Production Company: Paramount Animation, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Rocket Pictures | Distributed by: Paramount Pictures | Official Website
Do you remember the first Gnomeo and Juliet that was released on 2011? I don’t really. For an animation, Gnomeo and Juliet is not very much captivating me. All I can pretty much remember is that animation was a children version of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, now in the form of garden gnomes, still told about the feud between the so-called Capulets and Montagues, the couple were singing Elton John’s, and they had a happy ending. Oh, and the Shakespeare gnome is voiced by Patrick Stewart (how could I forget Patrick Stewart?).
Seven years later, the sequel is released. Still takes on British classics, now the garden gnomes take inspiration from Arthur Conan Doyle’s most beloving detective, Sherlock Holmes and his companion dr. John Watson. It seems that once upon a time they still think about what British classic literature that can be adapted, as well as rhyme with “gnomes”, and then Sherlock Gnomes (nee. Holmes, LOL) comes to mind. They also think of who should voice this cocky, deductive yet eccentric detective, and no one could be better than Johnny Depp. As his long-term companion dr. John Watson is voiced by Chiwetel Ejiofor.
Our loving couple from the prequel, Gnomeo and Juliet (still voiced by James McAvoy and Emily Blunt, respectively), are now married and inherited the garden from their parents, Lord Redbrick (Michael Caine) and Lady Bluebury (Maggie Smith). One day, all the garden gnomes in London are missing from their gardens. Called himself “protector of all garden gnomes”, Sherlock Gnomes and Watson team up with Gnomeo and Juliet to save all gnomes from Sherlock’s long-term arch-nemesis, Professor James Moriarty (Jamie Demetriou), who is now taking form of a rhubarb pie.
So then it is a classic battle of wits between Sherlock (and Watson, of course) and Moriarty, with an addition of Sherlock’s love interest Irene Adler (Mary J. Blige), who’s now a ball-jointed fashionista doll. There are some clear references to Conan Doyle’s cases like a terrier which Sherlock recalls as “The Hound of Baskerville” and when Sherlock and Moriarty fight to death as in “The Adventure of Final Problem“. The name of “Conan Doyle” also appears in one scene. There were also some clever black-and-white scenes that show us what goes on during Sherlock’s brilliant deduction. However, Sherlock Gnomes doesn’t incorporate all the thrill and fun from Conan Doyle’s fictional famous detective. The movie also lost the fun and strong message that should be emphasized on a children movie. There were some funny moments, but it’s not enough to save the whole movie from sinking.
In addition, Sherlock Gnomes isn’t Sherlock Holmes at all. We all know that Holmes respects Watson as his (maybe only) friend, but this gnome version of him treats Watson like his servant. He’s also arrogant and irritating to be watched, and Depp seems like he lost his magical touch of how to portray an eccentric character. James McAvoy and Emily Blunt reprise their role as Gnomeo and Juliet, respectively, but they also lost the sparling chemistry as a couple. Don’t forget to mention Jamie Demetriou’s rhubarb Moriarty. He seems to be more pathetic than any other villain in children movie.
The movie is a definite boredom, but it maybe because you watch this with the eye of an adult. Maybe you should watch this with the eye of children. However, don’t forget to sit with your children when you watch this movie. Some scenes might not suitable for children.