Perhaps Gnomeo & Juliet's re-purposed tale of romance amid warring families would have worked better if it had been less ambitious and aimed at combining only two of those elements. The incandescent language of the bard spoken by tacky lawn ornaments could have been eccentrically funny. But much of the play's dialogue is updated. Jokes fall flat. And a ceramic gnome by any other name is still a kitschy little figure.
This tale, completely unenhanced by 3-D, is a cluttered garden shed of a movie. The disparate pieces don't add up and often feel derivative of far better movies like Toy Story. In fact, the very concept of lawn gnomes coming alive is a lot like toys springing to life.
And the Spanish-inflected voice of a pink flamingo (Jim Cummings), as a peculiar reworking of the tale's Friar, is reminiscent of Shrek's Puss in Boots — except that Antonio Banderas does it better.
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