Dir. KELLY ASBURY
The star-crossed love affair of Romeo and Juliet has been retold and repackaged to us in several different forms and variations over the years, but one thing is for certain, and that is, you’ve never seen an adaptation of Shakespeare’s heartbreaking tragedy quite like this. In Gnomeo & Juliet, the feuding Montagues and Capulets have been replaced by two opposing clans (the Blues and the Reds); the historic streets of Verona have been replaced by two adjacent backyards in modern day England; and the human characters who we have grown to love, envy, and despise have been replaced by cute little garden gnomes. All the English literature courses in the world could have never prepared us for this.
Gnomeo (voiced by James McAvoy) is a dependable member of the Blue clan who occupies the majority of his day with shenanigans and competitions in the attempt to accentuate Blues’ superiority over the Reds; these activities range from lawnmower races to acts of vandalism. One night while on a covert mission into Red territory, Gnomeo comes face to face with the beautiful Juliet (voiced by Emily Blunt) and instantaneously there is a romantic connection. However upon the discovery that he is a member of the Blue clan and she of the Red, Gnomeo and Juliet come to the acceptance that their attraction for one another must be kept secret and out of sight because both their parents would forbid it and in fact would take offense to their romance had they possessed knowledge of it. The newfound couple then discreetly searches to locate happiness in each other as the rivalry between their opposing clans advances towards its destructive conclusion.
Gnomeo & Juliet puts a family orientated spin on the classic Shakespearean storyline and in the process creates a romance that is as believable as any romance between two garden gnomes could be. That’s the good news. The bad news, is the rest of the film doesn’t fair nearly as well. With uninspired action sequences and some pretty lame humour the film simply can’t compete with what we have all come to except from a computer animated movie. Maybe Pixar has just spoiled us, but if a film’s comedic elements all tie into a chubby gnome in a hilariously obscene Borat swimsuit, there is a problem. Not to say this character isn’t funny, because he is, but when a film relies too much on this type of humour it can grow tiresome, and in this case, it does.
Maybe it’s just the dark-hearted cynic inside me, but I think this would have been a stronger film if it ended on a more tragic note much like the film’s source material. But let’s be serious, a family orientated film which concludes by having two cute little gnomes committing suicide in the name of love would leave young kids devastated or confused, and either way their parents not too pleased.
[notification type=”star”]58/100 - With uninspired action sequences and some pretty lame humour the film simply can’t compete with what we have all come to except from replica offshore merchant account pharmacy a computer animated movie.[/notification]