Gnomeo & Juliet (2011)
Bard 'N' Gnomes
Has "Gnomeo & Juliet" got the best jokes? No. Has "Gnomeo & Juliet" got the best animations? No. Has "Gnomeo & Juliet" got the best storyline? No. But heck none of that matters as "Gnomeo & Juliet" is still entertaining and not just for its intended young audience but grown ups as well who will not only be amused by some of the jokes but will have the extra fun of the sudden realisation that they recognize a voice and there are lots of well known names lending their recognizable voices to the movie.
In neighbouring gardens live two groups of gnomes, the reds and the blues who for years have been feuding over whose garden is best. Their heated rivalry leads to a lawnmower race between Gnomeo (James McAvoy) from the blues and Tybalt (Jason Statham) from the reds which leads to Gnomeo's lawnmower being destroyed by Tybalt. Angered Gnomeo and a friend sneak into the garden of the red gnomes to sabotage it only for Gnomeo to meet Juliet and well let's just see how this plays out.
So needless to say "Gnomeo & Juliet" is another modern take on Shakespeare's classic romantic tragedy "Romeo & Juliet" but a very simplified version designed to appeal to a very young audience. And it works because whilst it pays homage to the classic storyline with an amusing opening and the use of names then simplifies things down so that young children won't be lost in the need to remember names such as Montague and Capulet. In fact in a guilty pleasure sort of way as an adult I liked this simplified take on the classic because you don't have to think about it or to be honest follow it too closely.
But the joy of "Gnomeo & Juliet" is that it is simply a lot of fun with comical animations and lots of comical set pieces. As I said the animations may not be the best but they are comical and the writers have managed to do a fantastic job of combining classic elements of the story in to make it work. In fact my hat goes off to the whole team behind the movie because they have got the right balance; some homage to the classic simplified enough with some simple visual fun.
But to be honest the reason why "Gnomeo & Juliet" works for adults is because of the great group of actors which have been brought together to voice the gnomes and characters. You smile when suddenly you hear Dolly Parton, you crack up when you hear Richard Wilson and Ozzy Osbourne's laid back voice is simply perfect. I could go on because there is also Michael Caine, Maggie Smith, Jason Statham, Julie Walters and even Hulk Hogan as well as James McAvoy and Emily Blunt as Gnomeo and Juliet. Plus when you combine all this with an Elton John Soundtrack which includes "Don't Go Breaking My Heart" the smiles never stop coming.
What this all boils down to is that "Gnomeo & Juliet" is simply a lot of fun for children but also for adults and so whilst it might not be the best animation it is a movie you will want to watch again. Oh and I don't usually do this but there are many reviews of this movie which have slammed it for what it has done to Shakespeare's classic, just remember this is a simplified movie for children first and on that level it works even if as an adult you don't like what they have done.
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