I am an unabashed fan of Gnomeo & Juliet, a more-than-trifling adaptation of William Shakespeare’s play about star-crossed human lovers. So it was with great anticipation that our family made a date to sit down and watch the sequel, starring a Johnny Depp-voiced version of Sherlock Holmes. Unfortunately, the sequel is more X-2 or Ghostbusters 2 than Aliens or Empire Strikes Back.
But these crazy gnomes are on the case, and there’s still entertainment to be had.
In a plot that seems to be a real-life cynic’s take on the relationship between the human characters of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson as they were created by Arthur Conan Doyle, Watson sets up a great mystery for Holmes, recognizing that Holmes doesn’t really appreciate him. I think that’s supposed to be a big hook in the film – maybe the biggest – but the depiction of the two characters on screen gave it away moments into the storyline.
So Depp and Chiwetel Ejiofor are voicing two of the gnome world’s biggest send-ups to fictionalized characters (and looking quite spectacular in animated glory), while the previous gnome heroes, James McAvoy and Emily Blunt’s Gnomeo and Juliet are squabbling on their own about taking responsibility for the gnome world in their own garden. That is, until gnomes start disappearing everywhere and the two “couples” must team-up to find them.
Less funny than the first, but still insightful and clever, Sherlock Gnomes may serve as the ‘middle’ movie if they get the greenlight to make a third. We can hope – because these gnome characters are rather funny!
Special features include “Gnome is Where the Heart Is” or the making of featurette; “Gnome Wasn’t Built in a Day,” about art design; and “Miss Gnomer,” articulating how Mary J. Blige impacted the music of the film (she plays Irene (Adler)’s counterpart in the gnome world, as a doll.)