17. Sherlock Gnomes (2018)
IMDB score = 5.1/10
Holmes and Watson? = Johnny Depp and Chiwetel Ejiofor
Synopsis = Garden gnomes, Gnomeo & Juliet, recruit renowned detective Sherlock Gnomes to investigate the mysterious disappearance of other garden ornaments.
Defense by Paul Thomas Miller:
I think the first thing to point out is this is a kid's comedy film. And it is a good kid's comedy film. It is not a ground-breaking canonical adaptation. It is not a searing insight into the mind of Sherlock Holmes. But when we watched it as a family we laughed and had a good time. We've just finished watching it for the third time as a family and from the pun-filled intro to the heart-warming end we were hooked.
However, there is enough canon-Holmes here to keep a Holmesian interested too. These appear on two levels: the little nods to the canon and fandom and the canonical themes.
Of "little nods" there are a plethora. We have Sherlock and Watson living with Mrs Udderson, the Sherrinford Movers removal company, Wisteria Lodge Flowers shop, the pug "Hound" owned by the Baskerville family, Doyle's Doll Museum, Irene as the one-time lover of Sherlock, Ignatius Iron Works, Coal Chute number 221B, Moffat and Gatiss Crates and the delicious moment of Moriarty and Sherlock plummeting to their doom in front of a firework falls.
The themes are good too. Sherlock Gnomes is surprisingly familiar. While examining crime scenes he is reminiscent of Holmes at the Boscombe Pool. We get to see him as a master of pugilist arts and we get to see him making deductions based on the appearance of other gnomes. The overall story revolves around Watson feeling he is not appreciated by Gnomes which I find mirrors the sentiments in the denouement of The Three Garridebs. Gnomes mirrors Holmes's mastery of disguise in a fun squirrel scene, he states a very Holmesian principle: "Emotion is the enemy of logic." and his craving for puzzles to solve couldn't be more canonical. On top of this, the mind palace cartoons, which are a nod to BBC Sherlock, are so much fun.
Moreover, when we watched this last night, my eight-year-old pointed out the similarity between Watson faking falling to his death to BBC Sherlock doing the same in The Reichenbach Fall. From there we talked about the original story in Final Problem and Empty House. I had my first Sherlockian conversation with my son because of this film. Therefore, Sherlock Gnomes is a good Holmes film. End of.