A Sherlock Holmes Themed Garden Gnome Movie
They probably meant well
While we had to wait an incredible seven years after Gnomeo and Juliet for the second part of this gnomeventure, I happily would’ve made it 10 for a decent sequel. Unfortunately, the plot of Sherlock Gnomes fits on a napkin. The avid reader of this blog knows, I’m a huge fan of garden gnomes & anything tacky and I really wanted to like this film. Sitting alone at the movies was probably a good indicator of things to come …
The ginomesly awesome plot
You know, I can handle cheap movies like Sharktopus or Fugitives Run but Sherlock Gnomes actually made it hard to sit there until the ending. What really carried Gnomeo & Juliet was the marvelous love of detail. Be it the cornucopia of garden gnomes, the hints towards Shakespeare or an insight into kitschy British landscaping.
Admittedly, it took me a while to get used to the soundtrack by Sir Elton John but all those elements really made up the charm of the first film. Stripped of those features, the second part makes you wonder if contracts forced them to finally get done with this … piece of art. The writers Ben Zazove & Andy Riley probably spewed this out in a bad cafeteria during their lunch break.
Maybe I’m a tough crowd here, as I devoured the Collected Sherlock Holmes Edition by Sir Arthur Ignatius Conan Doyle in a few days. (I can highly recommend this book for a charming bedtime read or a very long plane trip.)
While there is so much material to work with here, they chose to set this film in London. In a very short side sentence, the viewer learns that the Montagues and the Capulets relocated to the big city for their grandchildren, therefore, the blue and red gnomes move in to a rather neglected garden.
This in turn makes Juliet (Emily Blunt) so busy and concerned that she has no eyes for Gnomeo (James McAvoy). It was wonderful in Gnomeo & Juliet that this lady was really the toughest cookie in the garden. Unfortunately, this time around this turns Gnomeo into somewhat of a lukewarm washcloth. To add to this complex plot, Watson (Chiwetel Ejofor) also feels unseen by Sherlock (Johnny Depp). While Sherlock Holmes may have been somewhat of an odd character, the detective was certainly ahead of his time; Johnny Depp’s Sherlock Gnomes is so unsympathetic that it is hard to watch at times.
Meanwhile, Moriarty (Jamie Demetriou), classically Sherlock Gnomes biggest enemy, has teamed up with a bunch of gargoyles, who steal the garden gnomes of London. This seems an odd choice, as many kids would probably find some scenes a wee bit scary. It is not really a family movie and comes complete with show down flying scenes. It’s hard to say if Gnomeo & Juliet recruited Sherlock Gnomes & Watson or vice versa.
There could be a bit more said about what happens next, but then there would seriously be no point watching this movie.
(There might hope of reconciliation though. Yawn.)
Why, oh why?
Where is the love? The themes of the original Sherlock Holmes stories vary from social topics and incredible riddles to blackmail and secret organizations. Holmes & Watson also take a bunch of train trips to the surrounding cities. One could’ve staged the Hound of Gnomeville or a mysterious story next garden without having them relocate to London …
A project forgotten. Case (very likely) closed.
Why we love this movie: ?
Recommended for: Erm, anyone who would give this a go?
Director: John Stevenson
Script: Ben Zazove & Andy Riley
Production: David Furnish, Steve Hamilton Shaw & Carolyn Soper
Soundtrack: Chris Bacon
Based on: Sherlock Holmes stories by Arthur Conan Doyle
The (not so motivated cast):
Juliet – Emily Blunt
Gnomeo – James McAvoy
Sherlock Gnomes – Johnny Depp
Watson – Chiwetel Ejofor
Moriarty – Jamie Demetriou
Irene – Mary J. Blige
Nanette – Ashley Jensen
Benny – Matt Lucas
Fawn – Ozzy Osbourne