Garden variety crime caper sequel

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DETECTIVE CAPER Sherlock Gnomes is voiced by Johnny Depp.

Sherlock Gnomes

  • Animated comedy; Cert G; 1hr 26mins
  • Starring: Johnny Depp, Emily Blunt, James McAvoy, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Mary J Blige, Stephen Merchant, Michael Caine, Dexter Fletcher, James Hong, Ashley Jensen, Ozzy Osbourne, Maggie Smith and Julie Walters
  • Director: John Stevenson

AFTER making a computer-animated splash with Gnomeo and Juliet in 2011, the film’s sequel takes the audience too far away from the original film’s magical allure.

Despite keeping the star-studded cast, the film’s five credited writers found it necessary to move the story from its quaint Stratford-upon-Avon setting to the lawless bustle of London City.

Shortly upon their arrival in the city, the gnomes are stolen as part of a gnome crime spree that is underway. Only our titular heroes from the first installation – Gnomeo and Juliet – were able to avoid being gnome-napped. Unbeknown to the pair, Sherlock Gnomes – voiced by Johnny Depp – and his sidekick, Dr Watson – Chiwetel Ejiofor (12 Years a Slave) – are on the case.

The following plotline is rather garden variety as the typical caper ensues to release the captured garden pottery from Sherlock’s perennial nemesis, Professor Moriarity.

It may not hold parents’ attention for long, but there are few hidden adult jokes dropped in here and there that, aside from the occasional snicker, don’t go into the realm of double-entendre. So, the more conservative viewer won’t need to cringe at any inappropriate references.

7/10

mark.rieder@whakatanebeacon.co.nz