Sherlock Gnomes Movie Review
Sherlock Gnomes Movie Review Metadata
I don’t have kids, but I usually preview kids movies. I try to imagine myself as either the demographic (I do carry a stuffed fox after all) or the parent of the demographic who needs a little downtime in a quiet theater. With a Sherlock Gnomes (2018) I didn’t have to do either and I still had a good time!
London’s gnomes are protected by Sherlock Gnomes (Johnny Depp) and the much maligned and often dismissed Dr. Watson (Chiwetel Ejiofor). They continue to fight and best the psychotic confectionary mascot, Moriarty (Jamie Demetriou) as garden gnomes are disappearing from yards all over the city. Meanwhile, Gnomeo (James McAvoy) and Juliet (Emily Blunt) return (from Gnomeo and Juliette, (2011)) as their newly blended family is relocated to a council estate (neighborhood or subdivision, for us Americans) in London proper. The two competitive lovebirds are tasked with turning their new garden into a showplace, putting a lot of pressure on Juliet to succeed while Gnomeo feels pushed to the ornamental shrubbery. When their family and friends are kidnapped, they align with Sherlock and Watson to solve the clues before gnomes are smashed to oblivion.
Sherlock Gnomes was so charming. There was a clever mix of live action, computer animation and line art to literally flesh out the story. I loved the sprinkling of Sherlock Holmes easter eggs, from a blink-and-you’ll-miss it reference to Stephen Moffat, to making Irene Adler (Mary J. Blige) a showstopping, glamorous fashion doll who despite her ire and anger, just can’t quit Sherlock. Ozzy Osbourne, Michael Caine, Maggie Smith, Matt Lucas lend their voices to various characters and the Elton John/Mary J. Blige soundtrack will have you and your littles dancing in your seats.
Sherlock Gnomes did what A Wrinkle in Time (2018) failed to do – impart a lesson without dumbing down the content. It didn’t need to be an overreaching, poorly drawn allegory about – wait, what was a Wrinkle In Time supposed to be about? Sherlock Gnomes told a story about respect and friendship with earnest heroes, prideful lovers, genuine emotion, and a delightful goofy villain. These are the movies we want to take our (imaginary) kids to see. Adults aren’t bored to oblivion, and the message isn’t buried under sloppy writing and gee-whiz CGI. This is something everyone can enjoy while splitting one of those gigantic buckets of popcorn.
Sherlock Gnomes is rated PG for gnomes in perilous situations, a gnome in a mankini, literal potty humor, and the gentle misunderstandings that make friendship and love a hardship and a blessing.