Sunday, February 13, 2011

"Gnomeo and Juliet"

Okay, so... we've told the story of Romeo and Juliet multiple times, right? Come on, it's the ultimate story of star-crossed love! Two lovers, separated by a feud between families, and they eventually kill themselves in the end because of unfortunate circumstances. Who hasn't heard of that? And who hasn't updated it either? We've seen it get adapted into an anime, the modern day California, the West Side of New York...

...but with garden gnomes?

... Today's movie is gonna be stupid, isn't it?

Gnomeo and Juliet

The blue and red garden gnomes have been in a feud for as long as either party can remember from their opposite lawns. This changes when Gnomeo (Jason Statham) of the blue gnomes and Juliet (Emily Blunt) of the red gnomes meet and fall in love over the course of one starry night. Once the spark has been lit, they find themselves in unbelievable shenanigans as they try to conquer one misunderstanding after another.


Okay, I'll be straight with you. I could not be brought to care about anything that happens at all throughout the movie. The characters are all one-dimensional (which doesn't help when we already know how the character arcs for half these characters are going to end anyway), the plot moves forward at way too fast a pace, and there are way too many bloody montages of stuff going down. It also hosts one of the most annoying Hispanic stereotypes I've ever noticed, and I really, really felt they went over the top with the archetypes they forced on the characters.

So the only way this could be made worse is if they changed the ending without even acknowledging the original's ending.

Well... fortunately for us, they at least acknowledge this. why? The film-makers saw it fit to throw in a rather large heap of self-referential humor in the movie, as well as a few little references to other Shakespeare plays (keep your eyes out for a reasonably clever blink-and-you'll-miss-it reference to Hamlet). This self-referential humor is what works best in this movie. Perhaps my favorite part of the whole enterprise was one where Gnomeo, after one particularly crazy misunderstanding that sees him separated from literally everyone (a la Romeo's exile to Mantua), finds himself talking to a statue of William Shakespeare about the story of Romeo and Juliet, ending with Gnomeo commenting on how he doesn't like the ending Shakespeare wrote for his character. It may indulge in the self-reference too much, but it ultimately renders the whole thing from being totally bland and unwatchable.

Despite the rather clever self-referential humor, though, Gnomeo and Juliet is fairly lackluster for a family picture. It tries too hard to please the children and it doesn't try to bring any new characterizations to the table that are particularly enthralling. Ultimately, this renders the whole enterprise rather boring.

It was definitely not as bad as I first thought it would be. That said, though, that isn't saying much


It has its moments, but overall you might be left disappointed.

This is Herr Wozzeck Reviews. I'll see you guys next time.


  1. This movie hasn't interested me, and based on your review, I don't think I'm missing much. On the other hand, it's good to know it's not as awful as one might expect. :-)

  2. Hey,
    Just wanted to say keep up the good work with these reviews and musings, you're a pretty good critic. Other than that, to be honest, the story of Romeo and Juliet always annoyed me beyond measure. Based on what you told us, this version is no better. ((more time for homework, then))

    -He Who Just Noticed The Comment Box