So, after the big lawnmower clash-and-war that destroyed both backyards of the no-longer-feuding Montague and Capulet gnome families, the two neighbours seem to have also stopped fighting. Now they’ve moved, and now all the gnomes are living in a brand new garden that needs a few repairs. But soon it seems the gnomes are in more of a state of possible disrepair than the garden when they all vanish, and a strutting pretentious detective Sherlock (Johnny Depp) and his sidekick Watson are tasked with finding out how the gnomes vanished without any footprints in the grass, and Gnomeo and Juliet, who are undergoing difficulties, are tredding beside them.
You know, when Kyle Smith, a film critic of the New York Post said, in response to his negative review of the highly-acclaimed film American Hustle, “I think critics are too generous to blockbusters because they get caught up in the hype. I’m 47. The thrill of seeing special effects has worn off.” He’s now 52. I never wanted the thrill of special effects, or movies, to wear off on me, or else I wouldn’t be a competent critic. But when it comes to Sherlock Gnomes, I couldn’t help but feel I saw it, and I didn’t finish the movie feeling any different. It was just way too ordinary.
On the plus side, the shockingly-hated trailer consisted of loads of scatological bits that aren’t in the actual film. And when Sherlock goes into his mind about clues in a 2D animation style, it was impressively intricate. And at least there aren’t seven things going on at once like in Despicable Me 3. But there in the end isn’t much bragging rights. I enjoyed Gnomeo and Juliet well enough. The character models looked so much like garden gnomes, I felt if I touched one it would feel dry and clay-like and hard. Here they’re a bit more polished, but the animation and sets other than that feel pretty much the same. Heck, I’d even say the movie goes to more locations than its predecessor. But then there are some story elements that I just didn’t find myself attaching to.
Gnomeo and Juliet get a conflict of interest and it was mildly original, and Sherlock’s side story of what makes a great detective is something I endorse. So why does it all feel too obvious? Maybe it’s because of its lackluster mystery. We see Sherlock take down a mortal enemy within the first act named Moriarty and his first suspect is that gnome, and while I will admit there is a twist I didn’t see coming most of the actual mystery doesn’t let us tag along. There’s no real “Oh-my-gosh-that-thing-was-there-why-didn’t-I-think-of-that” or any “I-knew-that-painting-looked-sinister” moments, and all the lesson-learning is there, and a big song during the second act that’s good and energized but not unlike anything I’ve ever heard.
Sherlock Gnomes is alright, but apart from being an animated movie in development for seven years, it’s nothing you haven’t seen before. Even the fact the original was a 3D animated rendition and satire of the 400-year-old Shakespeare play has worn off.