Thursday 17 February 2011

Tromeo & Juliet, I mean Gnomeo & Juliet: A non review

Synopsis: Romeo & Juliet, with garden gnomes. In 3d. Hilarious!

(Non) Review: The great thing about not being a professional critic is not having to watch every single film that comes out. The bad thing about seeing a lot of films as a civilian is enduring the same trailers over and over for months sometimes (I still shiver at the thought of seeing the latest Robin Hood trailer ever again, which, I swear, lasted about 2 hours)

So in the last few months, just like a goose getting fattened up ready for foie gras, I had to endure the Gnomeo & Juliet trailer until my brain turned into celluloid pate. I blame Shrek. Shrek might have been an ogre but even him would not have expected to create such a monster: what started off as charmingly offbeat and quirky opened the floodgates for a wave of lazy animated films (including its own overblown sequels), with ugly animation, celebrity voices, cheap and junvenile jokes and tired pop culture references so that "both children and parents alike can enjoy them"

I would mention a few but they all morph into one another in my mind, in a flurry of wisecracks anthropomorphic animals, with Pixar films majestically rising above all these turds.

I have to say Gnomeo & Juliet seems to really be scrapping the bottom of a barrel. Garden gnomes? A soundtrack by Elton John (like it's a good thing?), a Matrix bullet time reference? (Shrek did it and it was funny... back in 2001! Are we not a bit too early for a late 90's revival?), Ozzy Osbourne as a stoned deer (ooooh! How edgy!)?. All these films have become the equivalent of being slightly drunk at the wedding of a family member you hardly know, eating cheap canapes, listening to the embarrassing uncle's jokes while being forced to dance to bad Abba covers while everybody (except you) get plastered.

If you are going to redo a classic such as Romeo & Juliet, go the Baz Luhrmann way, or even better, the Trauma way! Bloody, outrageously funny, limbs flying around, lovingly respecting its base material while talking it into an unexpected direction! I have put on both trailers, now which one would you rather watch?

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