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 When they look down their tattered tuxedos have been replaced by detective suits.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
(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.)
(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)
(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;
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)