Monday, March 26, 2018

Movie Review: Sherlock Gnomes

Stars: 3 out of 5
Pros: Some laughs
Cons: Moral too strong
The Bottom Line:
The good potential
Buried under the moral
So it disappoints




Is There a Team to Save the Gnomes?

When I enjoyed Gnomeo and Juliette last month, I started really looking forward to Sherlock Gnomes.  How could a sequel to a movie I enjoyed that involves a mystery be miss for me?  Sadly, it turned out to be disappointing.

Things have changed for Gnomeo (voiced by James McAvoy) and Juliette (Emily Blunt) and the rest of their garden gnome friends and family since they have moved to London.  The garden in their new home is a fixer upper, something Juliette throws herself into changing, much to Gnome’s dismay.

An attempt to make a grand gesture and win her affection back goes wrong, leaving Gnomeo and Juliette outside their garden when someone or something comes and steals them all.  That’s when they meet Sherlock Gnomes (Johnny Depp) and Dr. Watson (Chiwetel Ejiofor) who are hot on the trail of the thief.  Will they figure out what has happened in time?

The premise could have set up a very fun and funny movie.  After all, I was surprised at just how funny the original movie was.  Sadly, this one missed the mark.  Oh, there are some laughs, but they are fewer and much further between than I was hoping for.

Meanwhile, the story is only okay.  You know how much I love a good mystery, and the mystery was decent enough.  However, they had to preach about the importance of recognizing and respecting your partner instead of telling a good story.  Don’t get me wrong, it’s a good moral, and it certainly fits with Holmes, but it was such a point that it overshadowed everything else.

Maybe I would have enjoyed it more if I were more familiar with the Holmes cannon.  Not showing Shakespeare well didn’t seem to be an issue with the first one, and I certainly caught several fun nods to the original Holmes here, but they didn’t seem to be as prevalent.

This isn’t a complaint aimed at the voice cast, who all do a great job here.  Likewise, the animation is great.  It’s the script that lets them both down.

I wanted to like this movie.  I really did.  And if it spent more time on jokes and less on the moral, I probably would have.  As it is, Sherlock Gnomes is a movie that might entertain kids but adults will want to steer clear.

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