Why is it that movie studios that have a decent product put out such horrible trailers that make their movie look like it’s going to be absolutely horrible? It’s a shame really. They have something that people will actually want to see and yet they fall terribly short of promoting it. That’s the case with this movie. It’s good. Is it great? No. But it’s not something you’ll regret shelling out the big bucks for in the movie theaters.
So I’ll give you a little synopsis of the story. Yes, you all know the story of Romeo and Juliet, but not necessarily Gnomeo and Juliet. It tells the story of two gnomes. Gnomeo, voiced by James McAvoy is a young gnome who is quite popular in his side of the fence. He’s strong, handsome, and a force to be reckoned with. Juliet, voiced by Emily Blunt has been sheltered her whole life by a protective father. She’s even younger than Gnomeo and wants to see and experience the world.
The two of them are part of two feuding families. Gnomeo is part of the Red gnomes and Juliet is part of the Blue gnomes. It’s not really known why they’re feuding but that’s not exactly critical to the story here. Simply accept it and move on.
One day when Juliet decides to get a precious flower, she and Gnomeo meet and instantly fall in love. It’s sweet. Sure, it wouldn’t happen in real life but this is an animated family tale. It’s a sweet tale. So now they must find a way to be together despite their two sides feuding with each other.
What I liked most about this film were the characters themselves. They’re all just so cute and the screenwriter did a great job of giving everyone great lines at just the right times. There are some wonderful cameo voices in the film as well featuring such voice talents as Patrick Stewart, Hulk Holgan, Dolly Parton, and Ozzy Osbourne. Everyone’s character fit them perfectly.
Jason Statham voices the villain in the film and I have to say he does a wonderful job. I’ve always believed that he’s an underrated actor and if this role is anything to say for that, I’m spot on in my opinion. He doesn’t make his villain character come across too mean, but yet just mean enough. Great job on his part.
One thing to know about this film additionally before you go see it is that the film features all Elton John songs. While I was hesitant about hearing Rocketman in this movie, it works, and works real well.
The story is also very unique and sweet. I would never have expected this story to be told with garden gnomes but the director, Kelly Asbury does a great job. The director clearly understands the story and just where humor should be added to keep the story moving and an uplifting tale. Sure, they change the story around in the end, but it should be expected as it’s a family film. When have you seen a family film in the last decade where things don’t end up well for all of the characters?
This is a sweet film that everyone with a family should take the kids out and go see. It’s cute, uplifting and frankly a funny, well-made film. It’s not one you’ll be complaining for paying the ridiculous fees at the box office.
FINAL GRADE: B +
Reel Film News Review by Bill Ayres
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