Saturday, February 12, 2011

Gnomeo & Juliet - Movie Review

ll 1/2

Starring the voices of James McAvoy, Emily Blunt, Jason Statham, Ashley Jensen, Matt Lucas, Michael Caine, Maggie Smith, Ozzy Osbourne, Stephen Merchant, Patrick Stewart, Hulk Hogan and Dolly Parton.
Directed by Kelly Asbury.

A G-rated kids cartoon movie taking on Shakespeare's tragedy isn't going to end with the two leads dying, is it? Is it? That would have been cool.

The story of star-crossed lovers takes place almost entirely in two adjoining backyards, one with blue-themed garden gnomes and one with red-themed garden gnomes. They have been at war since before they can remember. In fact no one really knows why, but the war must go on. But then the blue Gnomeo (James McAvoy) and red Juliet (Emily Blunt) and it's instant love.

There's a lot of cleverness on hand and attention to detail, not to mention the occasional pop-culture reference for adults (Braveheart, American Beauty and Borat are among them). Elton John's greatest hits populate the soundtrack. We get our inevitable wrap-up, followed by an ill-conceived dance number/curtain call, and so, mere hours later, I feel like I've forgotten most of it. The trippy voice cast makes it at least worth a rental though.

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