Northern Outlook - - COMMUNITY NOTICES -

Seven years af­ter Gnomeo & Juliet, the porce­lain pair and their pals are back for an­other ad­ven­ture.

This time, the ac­tion shifts from Strat­ford to Lon­don, as our dy­namic duo pre­pare to take con­trol of their new gar­den. But the pres­sure starts tak­ing a toll on their re­la­tion­ship, with Gnomeo (James McAvoy) find­ing Juliet (Emily Blunt) not quite as at­ten­tive as she once was.

At froggy friend Nan­nette’s (Ash­ley Jensen) sug­ges­tion, he de­cides to rec­tify things with a visit to the florist across the road. But while he’s away, some­thing ter­ri­ble hap­pens – all the rest of the or­na­men­tal clan are kid­napped.

For­tu­nately, he is able to call on the ser­vices of the ‘‘sworn pro­tec­tor of Lon­don’s gar­den gnomes’’.

If any­one can solve the case in time, it’s Sher­lock Gnomes (Johnny Depp). With the help of Gnome Wat­son (Chi­we­tel Ejio­for), he quickly finds a clue – one that sug­gests it’s the work of his old ad­ver­sary, Mo­ri­arty.

The per­ni­cious pie mas­cot was pre­sumed dead in a Na­tional His­tory Mu­seum mishap, but this ‘‘Sis­tine Chapel of evil plans’’ (nat­u­rally need­lessly com­pli­cated) bears his un­mis­tak­able call­ing card. Or does it?

De­spite some im­pres­sive vi­su­als (the an­i­mated gnomes have a sat­is­fy­ing porce­lain­ity about them and there’s a nice use of a dif­fer­ent an­i­ma­tion style for Sher­lock’s ‘‘mind palace’’) and a vo­cal cast to die for (ev­ery­one from Michael Caine and Matt Lu­cas to Mag­gie Smith and Mary J Blige), you have to feel some sym­pa­thy for di­rec­tor John Steven­son (Kung Fu Panda).

De­spite some im­pres­sive vi­su­als and a vo­cal cast to die for, Sher­lock Gnomes of­fers only mid­dling en­ter­tain­ment.

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