Sherlock Gnomes (also known as Gnomeo & Juliet 2: Sherlock Gnomes) is a 2018 3D computer-animated romantic mystery comedy film directed by John Stevenson. Based on the character Sherlock Holmes created by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, the film serves as a sequel and spin-off to Gnomeo and Juliet (2011). The film stars the voices of James McAvoy, Emily Blunt, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Mary J. Blige, and Johnny Depp. It was produced by Paramount Animation, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, and Rocket Pictures, with the animation service provided by Mikros Image. It is the first film from Paramount Animation to be entirely animated, and the first animated film from Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer since 2008's Igor. The film was released in the United States on March 23, 2018 and May 11, 2018 in the United Kingdom, by Paramount Pictures, unlike its predecessor, which was distributed by Disney through Touchstone Pictures.
When Gnomeo and Juliet first arrive in London with their friends and family, their biggest concern is getting a new garden ready for spring. When everyone in the garden suddenly goes missing -- there's only one gnome to call -- Sherlock Gnomes. The famous detective and sworn protector of the city shows up with his sidekick Watson to investigate the case. The mystery soon leads the gnomes on a rollicking adventure as they meet all-new ornaments and explore an undiscovered side of London.
Why It Should be Shattered
- All the existing characters are out-of-character, especially Gnomeo and Juliet as they always fight like Bill and Ben from Thomas & Friends and actually act more like friends than a couple. What a way to suck the charm out of these two characters.
- This film came out seven years after the first one, so the idea for a sequel was basically stale by the time it was released.
- Disney and Touchstone Pictures were not involved with this due to the failure of Strange Magic. Instead, Rocket Pictures (the same company behind the first film), decided that MGM and Paramount should become the distributors of this film without informing both Disney and Touchstone Pictures and also not giving both companies why they never made a sequel with the both of them anymore for a reason why at all, Rocket Pictures should let the film be distributed by 20th Century Fox (Now 20th Century Studios) instead for making this sequel due to Disney owning the first film.
- Terrible humor that consists of stuff like fart jokes and poor attempts on making references to The Simpsons-style couch gags (now we all know how Matt Groening would feel if he saw this film). The film also consists of unfunny puns about gnomes. There are even some inappropriate innuendos, like in one part where Sherlock twerks and Mankini dances in his Borat swimsuit and we even see his red rectum, which is very inappropriate for a PG movie.
- The marketing relies heavily on pop-culture references, the main example being Juliet dabbing in her main character posters, which is unacceptable for MGM, Paramount, and Rocket Pictures standards, and is proof why making cartoon characters dab shows how much people adding the dabs is an attempt to shove it down kids' throats, and why dabbing, in general, is purely cringe.
- It has unnecessary posters parodying previous, much better movies from 2017, such as Darkest Hour, The Disaster Artist, The Greatest Showman, The Post, I, Tonya, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, All the Money in the World, Wonder Woman (which Smurfs: The Lost Village already had poster parodying before), The Shape of Water, and Star Wars: The Last Jedi.
- As mentioned stated, the framing device in the opening scene references gnome-pun versions of several films from the previous year such as Spider-Man: Gnome-coming which risks dating the film.
- The concept of the film, whilst being the only subtle one has nothing to do with the first movie and was changed in order to have the new characters fit in. The first film was a love story between Gnomeo and Juliet, a reference to Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare. This film, however, is about Sherlock Holmes, except it was written badly, and it fails at storytelling.
- Johnny Depp's performance as Sherlock feels unoriginal of previous adaptations of the character.
- The title of the movie is a bad pun on Sherlock Holmes.
- Popular characters from the original are absent and aren't even mentioned, particularly Featherstone.
- The film's message of putting loved ones before work is very heavy-handed to the point where Juliet has to spell it out in full detail twice.
- Watson's frustration with Sherlock is constantly alluded to in an attempt to foreshadow his supposed betrayal later. Likewise, Watson also constantly points out that Moriarty is dead to foreshadow the reveal that Moriarty is indeed alive.
- The film feels torn between being a true sequel to Gnomeo and Juliet and being more of a spin-off for Sherlock and Watson. Neither group of other characters was given enough focus or screen time for the film.
- Irene's scene contributes little to the film and seems to only be there so that Mary J. Blige can contribute to the soundtrack & can show her underwear in one scene.
- Gnomeo and Juliet, who were supposed to be the main stars of the feature, do very little to impact the story to the point where you can basically run the movie without them.
- Plot hole: Benny and Nanette have a romantic sub-plot, despite the fact that both characters have their own love interests in the previous film, and any attraction to each other was never set up. While Benny's love interest was absent and off-screen, Paris is still in the film, but his relationship with Nanette is not mentioned.
- This animated movie sequel is a prime example of how to make an animated sequel go completely wrong. Even if it was a sequel to the first Gnomeo and Juliet, everyone can see more on how much they've not only did they suck the charm out of the first movie and treated it like the first movie never happened, but they also screwed everything up.
- Very laughable dialogue, like "No ship, Sherlock." Thankfully though, this was cut from the final product.
- Weak direction skill of John Stevenson, the same director behind Kung Fu Panda.
- Moriarty may seem like a cool villain, but he just looks like one of the Emojis from The Emoji Movie.
- False advertising: The trailer shows the scenes of Mankini breaking wind in the pond and Benny relaying directions to Sherlock via a radio or telephone link. But those scenes aren’t in the final version of the film.
- The animation is a great step up from Gnomeo and Juliet, having polished textures and photo-realistic backgrounds. Even the traditional animation segments are some of the best things to come from an already awful sequel.
- The London Tower Bridge is animated amazingly, even at night.
- At least most of the characters from the first film returned, including Gnomeo and Juliet.
- Some of the jokes can be enjoyable. The banter between the four main characters can be quite amusing.
- The voice acting is good, with Chiwetel Ejiofor as Watson being a particular standout.
- While there are certain modern aspects that feel out of places, such as Moriarty's selfie-stick and a drone being used for the sake of plot devices, the pop culture references used in the movie are not as blatant or obnoxious as the marketing implies, and they are also not anywhere near as terrible or as forced as the ones in The Emoji Movie.
- Despite the villain of the movie looking like an Emoji Movie character knock-off, he is at least one of the few good characters in the movie.
- The action scenes are well-animated and intense.
- Great soundtrack composed by Chris Bacon, especially the song "Stronger Than I Ever Was", which was performed by Mary J. Blige.
- The wife actually tries to redeem herself for once, instead of the husband.
Sherlock Gnomes received generally negative reviews from critics and audiences. On the review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, the film had an approval rating of 27% based on 67 reviews with an average rating of 4.5/10. The website's critical consensus read, "Sherlock Gnomes is sadly, utterly stumped by the mystery of the reason of its own existence." On Metacritic, the film had a weighted average score of 36 out of 100, based on 14 critics, indicating "generally unfavorable reviews". Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "B+" on an A+ to F scale.
Sherlock Gnomes has grossed $43.2 million in the United States and Canada, and $47.1 million in other territories, for a worldwide total of $90.4 million, against a production budget of $59 million. In the United States and Canada, Sherlock Gnomes was released alongside Pacific Rim: Uprising, Midnight Sun, Unsane and Paul, Apostle of Christ, and were projected to gross $13–18 million from 3,600 theaters in its opening weekend. It ended up debuting at $10.6 million, underperforming but still finishing 4th at the box office.
Sherlock Gnomes was nominated for 39th Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Actor and Worst Screen Combo.