“This garden is unbelievably awful,” says disappointed garden gnome Juliet (voice of Emily Blunt), “and it’s ours.” “I think it’s the most beautiful garden in the world with you in it,” says dutiful husband Gnomeo (voice of James McAvoy). Meanwhile, Sherlock Gnomes (voice of Johnny Depp) declares, “I am the world’s first consulting detective and sworn protector of London’s garden gnomes.” That’s the setup for two overlapping plot lines in “Sherlock Gnomes,” computer-animated sequel to 2011’s “Gnomeo and Juliet.”
Who is stealing London’s garden gnomes? Can Sherlock and Dr. Watson solve the mystery? Will Gnomeo and Juliet bond? Is Barry the Toilet Gnome funny? For answers and more bathroom humor, see “Sherlock Gnomes.”
Emily Blunt and James McAvoy return as voices of Juliet and Gnomeo, married seven years and a bit edgy. “This garden cannot wait,” says Juliet, impatient with indecisive Gnomeo, “but you can!” Sherlock Gnomes and Dr. Watson – voices of Johnny Depp and Chiwetel Ejiofor — also have issues. Tired of Sherlock’s high opinion of himself, Watson says, “Well, we all have good and bad qualities.” Jamie Demetriou is Sherlock’s archenemy Moriarty. He, too, is full of himself: “I have devised the Sistine Chapel of evil plans,” he says.
Others in the voice cast include Mary J. Blige as Irene, singing sexy doll and Sherlock’s former girlfriend. In cameos, Michael Caine, Maggie Smith, Julie Walters and Ozzy Osbourne return as Lord Redbrick, Lady Blueberry, Mrs. Montague and garden fawn.
“Sherlock Gnomes,” directed by John Stevenson, script and story by Ben Zazove (and ten others), is kiddie humor, with a few adult quips. Barry the Toilet Gnome and Mankini the Bikini Gnome whose bare butt got the biggest laugh, are for the under-10 set. For the rest of us, there’s Irene who works at (Arthur Conan) Doyle’s Doll Shop, and a couple quotes: “Elementary, my dear Sherlock” and “The game’s afoot.” When Holmes is thinking, we see his brain, black-and-white, hand-drawn animation. A nice touch. Computer animation is colorful, set-pieces and chases are speedy, there’s one decent plot twist, and it’s got Elton John songs. Although mostly unfunny, it’s not as annoying as the preview.
Rated PG for rude and suggestive humor, “Sherlock Gnomes” runs 86 minutes. For this one, you could wait for the DVD.
Animated “Sherlock Gnomes”
Is inspired by a pun;
Frantic action comedy,
But not a lot of fun.