2011s GNOMEO AND Juliet didn't exactly break any records or breathe new fire or indeed didn't bring any new imagination in CG animation but if there were a few things it had, there was a lot of love, heart and a lot of hard work put into re-imagining a Shakespeare classic into a charming and surprisingly funny story about two star-crossed lovers thanks to stunning chemistry between James McAvoy's Gnomeo and Emily Blunt's Juliet. Yet if there was one thing we learnt from it, it wasn't quite good enough to earn a sequel. Seven years later the anthropomorphic porcelain gnomes are back in a new adventure that will determine how strong their love is.
For a while it goes about as well as it sounds, Sherlock Gnomes opens with Gnomeo and Juliet and their motley crew of friends and family moving to a new house in London they enjoy their new garden, having a celebration and planning to change their new home into a flourishing sanctuary, after their parents retire from being the king and queen of the garden this task is given to Gnomeo and Juliet. Tables turn (or in this case gnomes break) when Juliet starts focusing more on the garden than making their love stronger. But when their friends are taken they recruit renowned detective Sherlock Gnomes (Johnny Depp) and his loyal assistant Dr. Watson (Chiwetel Ejiofor), and the team goes an adventure to get their friends back (Have you caught up yet? Good). It's a different story to the previous film but despite the changes in plot by bringing another literary legend into the fray the film never manages to step over the garden - to be fair that was quite a small fence.
Alas, after you've deciphered the mystery behind the story (which won't take long) the film is just a fast paced and flimsily staged mystery leaving the initial surprise to shortly after fade away. The truth is, most of the film feels recycled from the previous film, and it's been built on a weak idea that never really justifies the originality, the thrill, or the suspense of a real mystery. Though Sherlock Gnomes might at least entertain its younger viewers in a pinch, those old enough to differentiate will likely find something better to do, to be fair, we don't blame you. Yet, it's not entirely a shattered plot scattered all over the pavement, as there's an excellent cast and a new twist in the story that happily changes any story before it, but the saving graces aren't enough to glue together the broken pieces, but the reality is there was gnome (sorry) need for a sequel.
VERDICT Fast paced length with a flimsily staged mystery that quickly loses its touch sadly leaving these legendary characters dropped into a dreadful bore.