Director: John Stevenson
Cast: Johnny Depp, Emily Blunt, James McAvoy (VOICES)
Release Date: June 12, 2018
A Review By: Kevin Lovell
Film Rating: 5/10
Disc Rating: 7.5/10
When Gnomeo (James McAvoy) and Juliet (Emily Blunt) discover their friends and family have gone missing, there’s only one gnome to call – the legendary detective Sherlock Gnomes (Johnny Depp). Working together, the mystery takes them beyond the garden walls and across the city on an unforgettable journey to save the day and bring the gnomes home.
Bringing back many of your favorite characters from ‘Gnomeo and Juliet’, the follow-up ‘Sherlock Gnomes’ rejoins our new lovers Gnomeo (McAvoy) and Juliet (Blunt) along with their accompanying red and blue hatted families now living in harmony and settling into their new shared home. But when innocent gnomes start mysteriously disappearing around town, it quickly becomes clear that this is a job best suited for master detective Sherlock Gnomes (Depp) and his trusty associate Dr. Watson (Ejiofor). But what seems to be a relatively clear cut case soon evolves into something far more intricate and shocking as the pieces begin falling into place in this exciting new animated adventure for the whole family.
‘Sherlock Gnomes’ is an enjoyable, easygoing and often quite humorous follow-up to the animated feature ‘Gnomeo & Juliet’ that reunites fans with at least the majority of their favorite characters as they tackle a new classic tale after settling into their new home, this time intertwining the legendary figure of literature Sherlock Holmes, along with his associate Watson and his arch nemesis Moriarty. It’s an entertaining enough tale that always keeps the content largely family friendly while still offering enough broad humor to elicit an occasional chuckle or two from the adults. Nonetheless, the kids will probably have a bit more fun with this one than many of the older viewers, or if nothing else will be far more likely to want to revisit it. Directed this time around by John Stevenson (Kung Fu Panda) and featuring a star-studded voice cast that includes a number of new and returning individuals to the series including Johnny Depp, Emily Blunt, James McAvoy, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael Caine and Mary J. Blige along with more. I would certainly encourage fans of ‘Gnomeo & Juliet’ and anyone already fairly interested in this one (or easygoing animated family films in general) to give ‘Sherlock Gnomes’ a whirl at some point when you have the chance. It may not be quite as moving or as much fun as its predecessor but still manages to serve up a pretty amusing and entertaining ride for the entire family that many are likely to enjoy.
Overall, ‘Sherlock Gnomes’ is a decent enough follow-up to 2011’s ‘Gnomeo & Juliet’ that serves up a healthy supply of adventure, laughs and warmhearted fun, although never quite manages to excel to anything extraordinary, yet that’s not to say that it doesn’t have its charm or will have any trouble keeping a smile on the face of fans either. I wouldn’t necessarily go out of my way to watch the first film or to see this one if you’re not already somewhat intrigued to begin with, but for fans of ‘Gnomeo & Juliet’ along with everyone whose curiosity is already peaked I would recommend giving ‘Sherlock Gnomes’ a watch eventually, it’s far from perfect but still provides a lighthearted, fairly funny and enjoyable adventure for the whole family that may not blow audiences away, but shouldn’t overly disappoint them either.
The Blu-ray release of ‘Sherlock Gnomes’ features a full 1080p High Definition presentation utilizing the film’s original 2.39:1 Cinemascope Aspect Ratio. The video presentation looks pretty great as a whole and provides a sharp, detailed and vibrantly colored presentation from start to finish with no noticeable faults to be uncovered along the way. It holds up beautifully even during the fast moving and/or darkly lit sequences, never causing anything occurring on screen to become negatively affected or rendered indiscernible. Overall, this is a top notch high definition video presentation that should have no trouble whatsoever satisfying fans and first time viewers alike.
The Blu-ray release features a lossless 7.1 channel DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack. This multichannel soundtrack makes for a solid compliment to the film and delivers a clean, sharp and fairly active audio presentation throughout. It regularly takes advantage of all seven available channels in order to send music, along with some action and nature effects along with plenty more throughout the various speakers rather frequently, while always making certain that any dialogue or other audio elements that might be occurring simultaneously remain clean and fully audible. Overall, this is a highly capable 7.1 channel DTS-HD MA soundtrack that contributes its share of additional fun to the experience and sounds consistently great the entire time.
The Blu-ray release of ‘Sherlock Gnomes’ includes a few entertaining extras for the whole family. Included are a collection of Behind the Scenes Featurettes and other fun videos featuring interviews/comments with the cast and crew, plus more. The included Featurettes are: ‘Gnome is Where the Heart Is’ (running 7 minutes in length), ‘All Roads Lead to Gnome: London Locations in Sherlock Gnomes’ (running approximately 3 minutes), ‘Gnome Wasn’t Built in A Day: The Design and Art of Sherlock Gnomes’ (approximately 6 minutes), ‘Miss Gnomer: Mary J. Blige and the Music of Sherlock Gnomes’ (4 minutes), along with ‘Animating Sherlock Gnomes’ (approximately 2 minutes) and 4 ‘How to Draw’ segments instructing fans on how to draw ‘Sherlock Gnomes’, ‘Watson’, ‘Moriarty’ and the ‘Goons’ (approximately 3-5 minutes each). An animated Music Video for ‘Stranger Than I Ever Was’ (approximately 4 minutes) is also included.