If watched solo, this should be panned for being far behind the ingenuity of Disney/Pixar, but when you take your little boy and he’s loving it so much – which is the target audience – it puts a different magnification on it.
Yes, four-year-old Joshua had been buttered up with gourmet chocolate-covered popcorn and hot dog (in no particular order) – but he was pretty much transfixed throughout with the clear, colourful, linearity that came with this sequel to 2011’s Gnomeo and Juliet.
So the box had been ticked for appealing to younger children, but on an adult level, this is as stereotypical and predictable as computer-generated animations go nowadays – lacking anything near the inspiration of Coco for example.
Which is a bit of a shame with the impressive A-list Hollywood voice talent on hand.
Gnomeo (James McAvoy) and Juliet (Emily Blunt) have been declared the leaders of the garden at their new London village address.
But when all the other gnomes get stolen – including Ashley Jensen’s frog Nanette, Matt Lucas’ Benny and Stephen Merchant’s Paris – the duo join forces with Johnny Depp’s Sherlock Gnomes and his assistant Gnome Watson (Chiwetel Ejiofor) to help crack the case, before the clock runs out . . . and the gnomes are literally cracked open.
With Sherlock’s arch-nemesis Moriarty (Jamie Demetriou) – who looks bizarrely look a mini yellow version of Ghostbusters’ Mr Stay Puft Marshmallow Man – as the primary suspect in the kidnapping.
But this is sadly paint-by-numbers stuff – which is perfectly fine depending on what you want to get out of it – that could easily have been straight-to-DVD fare for the most part, despite one nice little twist in the finale.
For a family with younger children, this is a perfectly fine way to while away an hour-and-a-half in a mildly humorous and non-offensively fun fashion.
And despite being heavily clichéd, most importantly it doesn’t outstay its welcome.
Voice Cast: James Mcavoy, Emily Blunt, Johnny Depp, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Jamie Demetriou, Matt Lucas, Ashley Jensen,
Mary J Blige, Julie Walters, Richard Wilson, Stephen Merchant, Dexter Fletcher, Michael Caine, Maggie Smith & Ozzy Osbourne
Running Time: 1 Hr 28 Mins
Director: John Stevenson
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