Made In Britain: Gnomeo and Juliet
If there’s one thing I hate, then it’s the Welsh. However, if there are a few other things that I really detest then they are Elton John and Garden Gnomes. Both represent individually the naffest and most embarrassing output of the United Kingdom and I do wish both of them would fuck off back to the 70’s where they belong. Seriously, is there anything more crap in the known universe than a little ceramic cunt spoiling an otherwise lovely lawn? Or the sound of Elton John murdering some nauseating power ballad to a woman that he didn’t know, or even worse, rewriting it for the People’s Princess (excuse me while I go and vomit somewhere)? Actually, in fairness, and I suppose I should be fair, there is a practical use to the humble garden gnome: it’s that the presence of one in a garden is a cast-iron signifier that a complete and utter cunt lives in the house. Or alternatively a pensioner. One of the two, anyway. So, this does beg the question, what in the name of Lucifer’s bunghole was I doing watching a film produced by Elton John and his husband retelling Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet with garden gnomes?
Well, I did need to do an animation for this series, and this was a relatively high-profile release last year. However, in all honesty, I had completely forgotten that Elton John did this. Which was a heinous mistake. What I do find a bit weird though, is that this, not to call a spade a bloody shovel, sack of shite attracted a frankly ludicrous cast composing of James McAvoy, Emily Blunt, The Stath, Michael Caine, Patrick Stewart, Steven Merchant, Ashley Jensen, Maggie Smith, Hulk Hogan (not joking) and others in what must be the most tiresome, unimaginative, derivative retelling of Romeo and Juliet ever put on the screen. Honestly, this idea is so facile that I bet it came after a massive drugs session and Elton and David Furnish sat there vegging out to Baz Luhrmann’s Romeo and Juliet when one of them stumbled over his name. Next thing you know, you’ve got box-office gold. Honest.
Right, this is how it works. Gnomeo is the son of the queen of the blue garden. He’s a bit of a lad, and indulges in drag racing with Tybalt, of the Red Garden. They’re at war (for no reason anyone ever bothered specifying), and basically are trained from birth to hate each other. Gnomeo meets Juliet when on a late night raid, and the pair of them fall head over heels in love. Tybalt is smashed in an accident, and everyone believes Gnomeo to be dead, except he isn’t. Through a hi-fucking-larious series of mishaps, he’s sitting on Shakespeare’s head in the park. Juliet is glued to her pedestal as punishment for rubbing ceramics with an obvious cunt. So the blue garden declare war, and Gnomeo returns to save the fucking day. Everyone learns something, except me. I, instead, have it confirmed to me that Elton John is an utter cunt, and Garden gnomes are an affront to the lord. I already knew this.
So, what to say, what to say…. Well, the voice cast are all clearly adept. McAvoy is (for a fucking change) smugger than a dog that’s just discovered that he can lick his own testicles, but that’s to be expected. Emily Blunt is much, much better than McAvoy, and the rest of the voice cast are basically all OK. Except the Stath, who is absolute fucking GENIUS! This is the second most inappropriate casting of the Stath in a film ever, just after In the Name of the King. The first time I heard Tybalt speak, I couldn’t work out what sounded out of place, then after I heard it a few more times the penny dropped and I howled with laughter- some dickhead had been stupid enough to cast Jason Fucking Statham as the voice of a “Badass” Garden Gnome! That’s awesome, in a very terrible way.
The animation? Meh. Who gives a fuck. It’s passable CGI and that’s about it. The soundtrack on the other hand is diabolical. It’s a perpetual sample of Your Song (Which must be the most overplayed Elton John track out there since that dogshit Moulin Rouge bought it back to everyone’s attention). This is so, so annoying, and made me want to go and slam the old douche’s piano lid on his fucking fingers. Christ, I can’t wait for this track to piss off back to obscurity, and it can take fucking Journey with it. Frankly. Oh, and Coldplay too, but that’s on general principle.
The writing, on the other hand, is lazy and crap. There are no set rules to the gnomes- on one hand they can hop around all over the place, but (stealing a device from Toy Story) every time a human is near by they become rooted to the spot. Except it isn’t consistent- and sometimes they can move, other times they can’t. Pah, annoying. I accept that I’m far, far too old for this, but really, fuckheads, do understand that adults will have to watch this with their spawn, and a little bit of effort goes a long fucking way. Think Pixar. This isn’t the only example of laziness in the film, there’s also the fact that the supermower of doom gets delivered about 2 seconds after the gnome orders it, and the annoying flamingo cunt can find Gnomeo in no time, even though he’s apparently been traipsed halfway across the city.
Most of the characterisation is OK, about from the annoying pink Flamingo thing Featherstone (Jim Cummings) who is so, so fucking annoying that I can see why his owner left him in the fucking shed in the first place. Honestly, he has a Fawlty Towers “Spanish” accent, and just exists to wind me the fuck up. Which he did. Very fucking successfully too. Luminous pink cunt of a bird.
Basically, at the end of the day, this is not for me. I’m far too old and I have functioning taste so can recognise that Elton John is fucking terrible. Furthermore, I require a bit of effort to be put in to characterisation, writing, and so forth rather than the written on the back of a beer mat effort that this film is. Were it funny enough, then I could probably get over it, but the whole damned film is squarely aimed at 9 year olds. And I’ve got a sneaking suspicion that it’s borderline retarded nine year olds at that. The problem is that the whole film is aimed squarely at the “cute” market, and as such nobody bothered with the bare minimum of plotting that any sentient being requires. It just bumbles along from a to b to c with little thought as to why these events are occurring. This is not fucking good enough. Gnomeo and Juliet is, in fact, shit.
Were it not for the Stath’s hilariously out of place turn, then I’d be orangutan of dooming this, but the man is so god damned funny that I’d be a real bastard to do that.
Until next time,