Holmes & Watson Recap

Jamie

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?

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.

Cheerios,

The Sklogs

Holmes & Watson Quiz

So here’s the thing. I’m Sherlock Holmes, but like a bumbling version of him (you know?). So I was stumbling about for clues and naturally smashed my head with a cricket bat and got a concussion. I’ve forgotten everything! Can you remember what happened in Holmes & Watson?

Pop Quiz Hot Shot!

1) The beginning of the film is a flashback to Sherlock’s childhood (fun …) where it is revealed why Sherlock is so smart. Why?

2) In the beginning of the film Sherlock is very very late for a very important date! What is the date? And name two reasons he ends up late.

3) After a dead body turns up in Holmes’ celebratory cake (along with a threat to the Queen’s life), what do Holmes and Watson determine happened to him?

4) How does Sherlock come to suspect his loyal companion Watson of betraying him, sending him to the gallows for murder?

5) Who is the real culprit and why are they attempting to kill the Queen?

Answers

Holmes & Watson Preview

Jamie and Patrick wander the wasteland of the BMTverse, their tuxedos in tatters. Last they saw Banks was thrilled with another boffo box office Rich and Poe entry, but the reviews were brutal. “A truly terrifying cat-astrophe,” said one critic, while another derided, “the deranged vision of two power-hungry maniacs.” Harsh, but fair. They had lost their way in their quest to bring their magnum opus to screen and now they must suffer the consequences. Suddenly a hooded figures appears in front of them and they are overcome with emotion. “Nic Cage,” Patrick cries, “we’ve failed you. We made a horrible Rich and Poe movie but they weren’t here when we came back. It must have been too terrible to work.” But Nic Cage pulls down his hood and laughs. “Silly Bad Movie Twins, can’t you see? Rich and Poe were in you the whole time.” When they look down their tattered tuxedos have been replaced by detective suits. “Wooooaaaaahhh,” they say in wonder. “It is time,” Nic Cage says solemnly, “the tournament.” Another figure approaches and they bow their heads and explain that the tournament will consist of the pillars on which the universe is built. Each one is a test, but also a learning experience. The first is about the dangers of imagination. “Stick close to what you know,” says Nic Cage, “for the new and unknown are dangerous.” The other hooded figure nods, “tread well-worn paths and you will not be… punished.” At that Nic Cage bows his head and Rich and Poe are transported into a Wicker Man. As the fire rages around them they wonder what this has to do with winning the ultimate tournament. Nic Cage’s eerie voice whispers from seemingly nowhere, “Elementary, my dear Rich and Poe. Elementary.” That’s right! We’re watching last year’s big Christmas disaster Holmes & Watson as the first entry in the first cycle of 2020: adaptations and remakes. I have to admit I was somewhat interested in this film before it came out given that even the poorly reviewed Get Hard gave me a good chuckle here and there, but the reviews for this Will Ferrell/John C. Reilly were so bad that it ended up waiting for BMT. I still think there’s a chance I like it. Let’s go!

Holmes & Watson (2018) – BMeTric: 80.6; Notability: 43 

HolmesWatsonIMDb_BMeT

HolmesWatsonIMDb_RV

(Below 4.0 is so low. I’m actually a bit surprised. I feel like horror fans are super hard on horror because they want new and interesting things and come down hard when things are done poorly. Comedy on the other hand seems to be: as long as it is even remotely funny and I have a good time I’m good to go. I guess this must be just excruciatingly not-funny?)

RogerEbert.com – 0.5 stars – “Holmes & Watson” is so excruciatingly awful that you have to wonder what it was, other than their paychecks, that could have possessed the cast and crew to keep coming back each day, when it must have been obvious from the first day of shooting that the project was the most hopeless of cases imaginable. … Considering that the end result is probably the biggest cinematic clunker of the season, the closest thing to an actual mystery in “Holmes & Watson” is how a screenplay as puerile as this one could attract so many talented people.

(Cooooooold bloooooooded. That is a quite the review. It does seem like the consensus seems to genuinely be: this is the worst Sherlock Holmes adaptation ever made … somehow including Sherlock Gnomes? You have to assume.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=brjkpRBpFnc/

(I was kind of just like “meh, whatever” right up until The Boys are Back in Town started up, and then my mind viscerally rejected this trailer. It really does look like garbage. A bunch of predictable jokes, poor British accents, and if those are the creme de la creme jokes they are rolling out for the trailer, I have to assume the movie is twice as bad.)

Directors – Etan Cohen – (Future BMT: Get Hard; BMT: Holmes & Watson; Razzie Notes: Winner for Worst Director for Holmes & Watson in 2019; Notes: He is tapped to direct a Mandrake the Magician adaptation starring Sasha Baron Cohen … that seems like an insane thing to adapt. Very specifically not Ethan Cohen.)

Writers – Etan Cohen (written by) – (Known For: Men in Black 3; Tropic Thunder; Idiocracy; Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa; Future BMT: Get Hard; BMT: Holmes & Watson; Razzie Notes: Winner for Worst Director for Holmes & Watson in 2019; Notes: Got his start on Beavis and Butt-head with Mike Judge, along with King of the Hill. Currently writing an animated monster wrestling movie called Rumble.)

Arthur Conan Doyle (Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson were created by the late) (as Sir Arthur Conan Doyle) – (Known For: Sherlock Holmes; Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows; The Great Mouse Detective; Young Sherlock Holmes; Mr. Holmes; The Hound of the Baskervilles; The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes; The Seven-Per-Cent Solution; Murder by Decree; The Lost World; Future BMT: Tales from the Darkside: The Movie; The Hound of the Baskervilles; BMT: Holmes & Watson; Notes: That’s Sir Arthur Conan Doyle to you. In addition to creating probably the most famous literary detective ever, he also wrote a number of other works, most notable The Lost World.)

Actors – Will Ferrell – (Known For: Elf; The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part; Step Brothers; Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery; Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me; The Other Guys; Between Two Ferns: The Movie; The Lego Movie; Old School; Wedding Crashers; Blades of Glory; Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby; Megamind; Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy; Zoolander; Stranger Than Fiction; Starsky & Hutch; Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back; Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues; The Producers; Future BMT: Bewitched; Boat Trip; Land of the Lost; Superstar; The Ladies’ Man; The House; Semi-Pro; Tim and Eric’s Billion Dollar Movie; The Goods: Live Hard, Sell Hard; Drowning Mona; Get Hard; The Suburbans; Daddy’s Home 2; Daddy’s Home; The Internship; A Night at the Roxbury; Zeroville; BMT: Holmes & Watson; Zoolander 2; Razzie Notes: Winner for Worst Screen Couple for Bewitched in 2006; Nominee for Worst Actor in 2006 for Bewitched, and Kicking & Screaming; in 2010 for Land of the Lost; and in 2019 for Holmes & Watson; Nominee for Worst Supporting Actor for Zoolander 2 in 2017; Nominee for Worst Screen Combo for Holmes & Watson in 2019; and Nominee for Worst Screen Couple for Land of the Lost in 2010; Notes: I would argue he’s the best SNL alumni cast member in history. Tons of hits and misses, but he has manages to build a successful television, film, and short film career. He founded Funny or Die with Adam McKay.)

John C. Reilly – (Known For: Guardians of the Galaxy; Sing; Step Brothers; Ralph Breaks the Internet; Wreck-It Ralph; Gangs of New York; The Aviator; The Lobster; What’s Eating Gilbert Grape; The Sisters Brothers; Boogie Nights; Kong: Skull Island; Chicago; Magnolia; We Need to Talk About Kevin; Stan & Ollie; The Thin Red Line; The Dictator; Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby; Hoffa; Future BMT: Tim and Eric’s Billion Dollar Movie; Cirque du Freak: The Vampire’s Assistant; Boys; Days of Thunder; Nightwatch; BMT: Holmes & Watson; Razzie Notes: Winner for Worst Supporting Actor for Holmes & Watson in 2019; and Nominee for Worst Screen Combo for Holmes & Watson in 2019; Notes: Started out as a character actor, moves into dramatic roles, but also somehow manages to be a great comic actor as well. Is married to Alison Dickey who apparently was Sean Penn’s assistant for a while.)

Ralph Fiennes – (Known For: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2; Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire; Skyfall; Spectre; Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix; The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part; Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1; Official Secrets; Schindler’s List; The Grand Budapest Hotel; The Duchess; Nanny McPhee and the Big Bang; In Bruges; Red Dragon; The English Patient; The Hurt Locker; Great Expectations; The Lego Batman Movie; The Reader; Hail, Caesar!; Future BMT: Maid in Manhattan; Wrath of the Titans; Clash of the Titans; Chromophobia; BMT: The Avengers; Holmes & Watson; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Actor, and Worst Screen Couple for The Avengers in 1999; Notes: Is the oldest of six siblings. His brother Magnus is an accomplished composer, and his brother Joseph is famous for playing Shakespeare in Shakespeare in Love.)

Budget/Gross – $42,000,000 / Domestic: $30,573,626 (Worldwide: $40,466,970)

(Hmmmm, the budget makes sense, a period piece will rack up bills on extras, sets, and costumes. And they probably were hoping for a $100 million return from the box office which I think is still fairly normal for a Will Ferrell comedy. Missed the mark though, that’s a pretty big bomb.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 11% (8/75): The lowest and vilest alleys in London do not present a more dreadful record of the adventures of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson than does Holmes and Watson.

(That is actually likely a pretty accurate presumption … it does look like an awful adaptation of Sherlock Holmes. Reviewer Highlight: If a comedy falls in the forest and nobody laughs, did it even exist? – Joshua Rothkopf, Time Out)

Poster – Rich & Poe: Old Timey Detectives: A Rich & Poe Story (D)

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(Nah, this is actually in line with many of the Will Ferrell films, but it doesn’t really work for me. Bad color scheme and boring font… really just all around boring. No thanks.)

Tagline(s) – They don’t have a clue. (B)

(Predictable, but solid. Works just enough to escape being too generic. This is just good solid craftsmanship. It’ll get the job done.)

Keyword – victorian era

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Top 10: The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992), A Christmas Carol (2009), The Prestige (2006), Alice in Wonderland (2010), Dracula (1992), The Lost City of Z (2016), The Phantom of the Opera (2004), Van Helsing (2004), Interview with the Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles (1994), Sherlock Holmes (2009); 

Future BMT: 40.8 The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (2003), 40.1 The Wolfman (2010), 37.1 Dracula: Dead and Loving It (1995), 31.7 Victor Frankenstein (2015), 30.9 Van Helsing (2004), 13.4 Tai-Pan (1986), 5.4 The Phantom of the Opera (2004), 4.9 A Dog of Flanders (1999); 

BMT: Holmes & Watson (2018), Around the World in 80 Days (2004)

(Both of those BMTs star Steve Coogan, that’s fun. I guess he is British … does he look Victorian or something? The big spike in the early 90s was Interview with a Vampire and Bram Stoker’s Dracula. It does genuinely seem like 1990 to 1995 was a big Victorian Era era. Indeed there are shockingly few released between 1995 and 2000)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 17) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Rebecca Hall is No. 3 billed in Holmes & Watson and No. 3 billed in Transcensdence, which also stars Paul Bettany (No. 2 billed) who is in Firewall (No. 2 billed), which also stars Harrison Ford (No. 1 billed) who is in Hollywood Homicide (No. 1 billed), which also stars Josh Hartnett (No. 2 billed) who is in Here on Earth (No. 3 billed) => 3 + 3 + 2 + 2 + 1 + 1 + 2 + 3 = 17. If we were to watch A Night at the Roxbury we can get the HoE Number down to 13.

Notes – According to Deadline, after disastrous test screenings, Sony attempted to sell the film to Netflix, which declined. (Uh oh, that isn’t a good sign)

Speaking on the Empire Podcast #346 (11 January 2019) about the quality of the film, Steve Coogan, who played Gustav Klinger, said “I think in 20 years time when the dust has settled and people are able to look at Holmes and Watson objectively, I think people will say ‘It’s still rubbish”. (Hahahah, Coogan is great)

In 2008, Sacha Baron Cohen and Will Ferrell were once attached to star as Sherlock Holmes and Watson. The project re-entered development in 2016 with Ferrell as Holmes and John C. Reilly as Watson. (Huh, that is actually a pretty interesting pair)

Became the only film in the history of the Razzie Awards to “win” Worst Picture and not even be nominated for Worst Screenplay.

Actor Billy Zane has a cameo in this film aboard the Titanic; an homage to his role in the 1997 film about the Titanic.

Christophe Beck wrote a score for this film which was not used.

Hugh Laurie, who plays Sherlock’s brother, Mycroft, in the film, previously portrayed the title character in the television series, House MD. The character Greg House was modeled after Sherlock Holmes.

As of 2018, this is the seventh adaptation during the decade to be based on Sherlock Holmes lore, after: Sherlock (2010), Sherlock Holmes (2009), Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows (2011), Elementary (2012), Mr. Holmes (2015) and Sherlock Gnomes (2018).

Moriarty has a daughter in this film. He is traditionally portrayed as unmarried, with no children.

Awards – Winner for the Razzie Award for Worst Picture (2019)

Winner for the Razzie Award for Worst Supporting Actor (John C. Reilly, 2019)

Winner for the Razzie Award for Worst Director (Etan Cohen, 2019)

Winner for the Razzie Award for Worst Remake, Rip-Off or Sequel (2019)

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Actor (Will Ferrell, 2019)

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Screen Combo (Will Ferrell, John C. Reilly, 2019)