Sherlock is back, Jack! And it seems like he might have found his match, as a mysterious murderer is loose in London and Moriarty is nowhere to be seen. Even worse this murderer’s next target? The Queen *gasp*. Can Sherlock and his trusty pal Watson solve the case (and perhaps get the girl) before it’s too late? Find out in… Holmes & Watson.
How?! After being bullied as a child, Sherlock Holmes vows to never be controlled by emotions and to use his big ol’ brain to take down the bad guys. Flash forward and he’s doing just that. When Moriarty is on the verge of going to jail, Holmes shocks the world by revealing his theory that in fact he’s an impostor and the real Moriarty has escaped to America. The London authorities are incredulous, but the Queen is thrilled and invites Holmes to the palace for what turns out to be a surprise birthday party. The party is immediately ruined by a corpse being found in the cake and the revelation that there is a plot to kill the Queen. Sherlock is on the case with the help of his trusty doctor sidekick Watson and they track down lead after lead. This includes the revelation that Holmes was right, the man they thought was Moriarty was an impostor and blackmailed into helping with the plot. As Holmes thinks hard about how it’s possible that someone (anyone!) could battle his big ol’ brain, he comes to the only reasonable conclusion: it must be someone very close to him. He points the finger at Watson (slander!) and gets him thrown in jail, but the guilt he feels over betraying his only true friend puts him back in touch with his emotions. Going to free Watson before his execution he finds the final clue that puts all the pieces together: it was his housekeeper (who was also secretly Moriarty’s child! (what a twist!)). Realizing that the plot will culminate with the murder of the Queen aboard the Titanic, Holmes arrives just in time to free Watson and, as a team, foil the plot and catch the baddies. Afterwards, as a newly minted detective duo, they go to America to catch Moriarty once and for all. Am I smelling a sequel (hint: I’m not). THE END. Big Question: how much do you actually have to laugh during a comedy for it to not be terrible?
Why?! For Queen and Country, duh. Oh, and Sherlock also wants to prove to everyone else that he’s the smartest. Oh, and Watson wants to become co-detective with Sherlock. Oh, and Moriarty and his daughter only want to murder the Queen to prove to the world that they are smarter than Sherlock and make him look like a fool. The mystery is so devious that they think he can’t possibly solve it… they are wrong.
Who?! Steve Coogan and Hugh Laurie went uncredited for their cameo roles. Both were small, but significant roles. Billy Zane appeared as himself in the film, which I was all for. Always into a ride on the Zane Train. All aboard! Choo choo. Finally, we generally highlight appearances of real of fictional Presidents on screen. Well how about Pam Ferris playing Queen Victoria? Long live the Queen! As a last note, Watson is comically played as a Planchet in the film… almost to a tee. Shit on all day, but generally competent and helpful.
What?! I stopped at nothing to find a prop from this film for sale. It just seemed impossible for them to make a period piece without accruing a huge number of props that you could sell for charity and/or to amuse me. Finally I dug up this prop pistol that apparently has already sold. I’m not even that disappointed. I was mostly hoping to find full Holmes and Watson costumes so I could gift the Watson costume to Patrick and then have the Holmes’ costume tailored to fit his dog Tolstoy (obviously). But alas.
Where?! London, baby. With a little dash of Wyoming (seriously) at the end. Obviously this plays a huge role in the film considering the entire mystery is about the attempted murder of the Queen, the Titanic makes an appearance, etc. Solid A as it is as necessary as bubble and squeak at brekkie.
When?! The timeline is all screwed up as they mix all kinds of historical events together. You have to go with the date on one of the many newspapers that are shown on the screen, November 26th, 1892, as the true date (weirdly making this is a super duper secret Thanksgiving film: London edition) and not the fact that the Titanic plays a role in the film despite not even being ordered for construction until 1908. I kinda like that they were like “who cares?” with this kind of stuff… if they want to make a bunch of Titanic jokes and have a Billy Zane cameo then that’s all fine by me… as long as you give me a newspaper with the actual date on it. B.
We all have biases. I have a soft spot for stupid comedies, particularly of the Ferrell-Reilly variety. This should already have been clear considering the Smaddies Baddies award for bad-film-that’s-actually-good is named after Freddy Got Fingered… although I guess that’s because that movie is actually good. I wouldn’t go nearly that far with Holmes & Watson. But I would also say that I laughed occasionally, thought it looked quite good, and certainly wasn’t lazy in ways that you sometimes see in bad comedies. By the end I was moderately sad that the product was bad enough to guarantee that there couldn’t be a sequel. I would have enjoyed seeing if they could have produced something good out of their attempt at a Sherlock spoof. But that’s not gonna happen and their first attempt is just meh in a Get Hard kind of way. You’ll laugh a few times but that’s probably about it. Patrick?
‘Ello everyone! You know me, I love me a murder mystery. Poirot, Jessica Fletcher, DCI Barnaby. It’s my jam. But now for the best adaptation yet! Will Ferrell as Sherlock Holmes … Let’s get into it!
P’s View on the Preview – I’m not exaggerating when I say the preview said maybe 10 times that this was the least funny film ever produced. So unfunny that your mind would reject it, and you would rage against the mere idea of continuing to watch more than a mere second of the film … so yeah, I was getting prepared to be bored out of my mind. What were my expectations? A boring mess. Like with the classic Kicking and Screaming, Will Ferrell sometimes ends up in comedies where he just shouts a bunch and not much happens. So I was expecting that.
The Good – Superficially the case is at least somewhat interesting. A double of Moriarty, murder by tattoo, and a twist reveal of Holmes’ housekeeper being the long lost daughter of Moriarty trying to make Holmes look the fool. I found that mostly satisfying (although there are issues with it which I’ll mention below). I laughed three times during this film, which is above average, so that is a small positive. I especially liked the whole Titanic bit at the end. And the cast is a murderer’s row of British comedians (unfortunately they aren’t given much to do, but I do enjoy the casting in general).
The Bad – While superficially interesting the mystery is very disjointed, and upon inspection the twist is basically impossible to determine organically. Like, they have a giant scene in which Holmes and Watson are trying to find the mysterious tattoo artist, but in the end they end up not knowing any additional information from the escapade and Mycroft just has to tell Holmes the answer. The accents by Ferrell and Reilly are immediately annoying, a huge mistake to surround them with actual British people. And the origin story of Sherlock (which no one asked for) in the beginning is a terrible addition to the Sherlock lore and unnecessary to boot (who gives a shit as to why Sherlock Holmes solves cases “unemotionally” … is that even a thing?). The more I write about the film the more I actually dislike it.
The BMT – If not for the cast of the film I’m confident I would have despised this film as a try-hard and unfunny piece of garbage. It still mostly sucks, but hey, I like Ferrell and Reilly and I can’t help myself, I ended up laughing a bit. I’m quite interested to see if we end up watching another Sherlock Holmes film at some point. Did it meet my expectations? It was certainly slightly funnier than I expected. But it mostly just matched them. An unfunny adaptation of a classic book is a tough sell.
Roast-radamus – One of the better Planchett (Who?) with Watson in this one in my opinion, but he might be a bit too competent of a doctor to count. For the most part that is his purpose though, to be ripped on by Holmes and look like an idiot. Definitely a solid Setting as a Character (Where?) for London. It is also a Period Piece (When?) for the Victorian setting, but we usually go for secret holiday film in the end. Worst Twist (How?) for the long lost Moriarty daughter, and Best MacGuffin (Why?) for the mystery of the missing Moriarty … my God, it potentially qualifies for everything!
StreetCreditReport.com – So I can’t find this on any of the big lists, but I think I know why: it was released on Christmas Day, 2018. So all of the lists were already published by the time it came out. I think it makes one or two of them if they were to edit them though, it definitely has the cred, especially with that cast. I also think it is the worst Sherlock Holmes adaptation ever, so it has that going for it.
You Just Got Schooled – Naturally, watching one of the greatest Sherlock Holmes adaptations every made I had to find an even better one to watch: Sherlock Holmes in the 22nd Century! A cartoon series from 1999 (free on Tubi) the show amazingly follows along with a good number of the classic Holmes mysteries (quite the coincidence given the concept of the show is that all of the Holmes mysteries were real and occurred in the 19th century as well …). I just watched the first episode. Beyond the travesty that is the CGI in the show, mainly it suffers from relying far too heavily in calling back to the original books. C-. Amusing for about 5 minutes, and then the overwhelming sense of ennui that comes with wasting one’s life watching bad cartoons settles in and ruins the experience.