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Blu-ray Review: Sherlock Gnomes

June 12, 2018

By John Corrado

★★ (out of 4)

A belated sequel to the 2011 film Gnomeo & Juliet, Sherlock Gnomes finds star-crossed lovers Gnomeo (James McAvoy) and Juliet (Emily Blunt) being moved to London, where their owners now share a garden.

But when their fellow lawn decorations mysteriously go missing, they must enlist the help of the famous gnome detective Sherlock Gnomes (Johnny Depp) and his partner Dr. Watson (Chiwetel Ejiofor), in order to track them down and return them safely to the garden.

Where as Gnomeo & Juliet was a charming enough spin on William Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet, Sherlock Gnomes is less cohesive and also less successful.  This is not to say there aren’t still some mildly enjoyable moments scattered here, because there are a few.  The title character himself is a fairly amusing creation, and the sequences where he enters his “Mind Palace” are nicely done using black and white 2D animation, in the film’s best and most creative touch.

The brightly coloured computer animation is generally decent, the all-star voice cast does fine work and, like its predecessor, the film features a buoyant selection of Elton John songs.  But as a whole, Sherlock Gnomes is a thoroughly mediocre affair, and it’s further bogged down by having an annoying villain in Moriarty (Jamie Demetriou), who has been reimagined here as a crazy pie shop mascot and starts to grate on the nerves right from when he first appears.  It’s fine for kids, but that’s about it.

The Blu-ray also includes the featurettes Gnome is Where the Heart Is, All Roads Lead to Gnome: London Locations in Sherlock Gnomes, Gnome Wasn’t Built in a Day: The Design and Art of Sherlock Gnomes, as well as Miss Gnomer: Mary J. Blige and the Music of Sherlock Gnomes and the music video for her new song “Stronger Than I Ever Was.”  There’s also the short piece Animating Sherlock Gnomes and instructions on how to draw four of the main characters.

Sherlock Gnomes is a Paramount Home Media Distribution release.  It’s 86 minutes and rated G.

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