Several years ago, when my older daughter was a lot smaller, we watched a mildly humorous children's film adaptation of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, entitled Gnomeo and Juliet. I remember, as a five year old, she was entertained, and there were enough tongue-in-cheek Shakespeare references to keep me entertained as well. In March 2018, a sequel to Gnomeo and Juliet was released, this time a spoof on Sherlock Holmes: you guessed it...Sherlock Gnomes. The film is part sequel, involving Gnomeo and Juliet in new adventures, but it is also (of course) a spoof of the Sherlock Holmes mythology. Sherlock (voiced by Johnny Depp) is a garden gnome detective (that is, a detective who happens to be a garden gnome), who is sworn to protect all of London's garden gnomes. He finds himself pitted against his old archenemy, Moriarty: a sort of "Bob's Big Boy" type of pie mascot (don't ask). Sherlock is a kind of self-absorbed character, who doesn't treat his sidekick Watson with the respect he deserves. Their paths cross those of Gnomeo and Juliet, whose family of garden gnomes has been abducted by the evil Moriarty.
Honestly, I found the film pretty entertaining. There were all kinds of goofy nods towards the Sherlock Holmes canon: Doyle's Doll Museum, Wisteria Lodge Florist Shop, a grating with "221B" on it, that type of thing. And of course, the obligatory deerstalker cap, Inverness cape, and magnifying glass. In a little homage to the BBC's Sherlock, perhaps, Mr. Gnomes occasionally retreats into a "mind palace" of sorts, with a different style of animation for those sequences. The voice cast is a panoply of celebrities: James McAvoy (Gnomeo), Emily Blunt (Juliet), Chiwetel Ejiofor (Watson), Michael Caine (Lord Redbrick), Maggie Smith (Lady Bluebury), and many more. Even Ozzy Osbourne has a brief role, as a somewhat befuddled ceramic fawn. The animation is done well, and the aforementioned "mind palace" sequences were bizarre and fun. The story is packed with enough action and silly humor to keep children entertained, while there are enough pop culture references sprinkled throughout to keep adults from being completely bored. As a Holmes fan, I found it enjoyable enough, if not particularly brilliant. The film only received a 28% on film review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, and I've seen much worse films with higher scores.
For your entertainment, I've shared the film's trailer below. If you have young children, you could do a lot worse. Oh, and did I mention that most of the soundtrack is made up of Elton John songs?
I'm a stay-at-home dad, and Director of Music Ministries at a United Methodist Church in Mt. Juliet, TN. And a longtime fan of Sherlock Holmes.