2951. Holmes & Watson (2018)

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6.2 Terrible, but bizarrely endearing
  • Acting 6.4
  • Directing 6.4
  • Story 5.8
  • User Ratings (0 Votes) 0

Starring: Will Ferrell, John C. Reilly, Ralph Fiennes

Director: Etan Cohen

Running Time: 90 mins


Holmes & Watson is an American film about detective Sherlock Holmes and his assistant Dr. Watson, as they attempt to bring serial criminal James Moriarty to justice.

This film has an absolutely dire reputation, but I couldn’t find it in me to really hate it that much. Sure, Holmes & Watson does feel like a bunch of 13 year-old boys were given free reign to write their own Sherlock Holmes story, but there’s nothing about it that’s much worse than so many other Hollywood comedies.

It’s juvenile, non-sensical and fairly unimaginative throughout, but there’s something charmingly chaotic about Holmes & Watson that couldn’t help but love. By no means is it an amazing film, but strangely, it did put a smile on my face.

This movie has been the object of a bombardment of bad reviews ever since it came out, but one thing that you really can’t fault about it is the production and costume design. Sure, you’re probably not watching a Will Ferrell/John C. Reilly comedy for lavish period visuals, but it does add a certain something to the movie.

With a childish eye for parody, it’s actually quite fun to watch a car-crash Sherlock Holmes adaptation played out with such high production values and budget. The costumes are exquisite and the sets delightful, meaning it’s not difficult to imagine yourself in ‘Victorian London’, despite the wealth of hilarious inaccuracies.

That blend of nonsensical incompetence and such good production values makes Holmes & Watson a film like few others out there. In fact, it’s what makes the film strangely endearing throughout.

The plot makes no sense, the vast majority of the gags fall flat on their face, and the movie is filled with pure nonsense from start to finish. But it’s not an evil movie. There’s nothing particularly offensive about its comedy, and it’s all made in a clearly tongue-in-cheek vein.

Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly’s accents are delightfully terrible, playing into the film’s farcical atmosphere brilliantly and upping the fun factor. The actual dialogue that comes out of their mouths may leave a little to be desired, but there’s something enjoyably disastrous about their performances.

This is a little different to a so-bad-it’s-good movie. Holmes & Watson is by no means a great comedy, and it doesn’t do much to make you laugh. But there’s a lot of fun to be found in the movie if you just look at it from a slightly different angle. Laughing at it isn’t particularly fun, but there’s a lot about the film that’s bizarrely endearing, despite how objectively terrible it actually is. So, that’s why I’m giving Holmes & Watson a 6.2 overall.

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About Author

The Mad Movie Man, AKA Anthony Cullen, writes articles and reviews about movies and the world of cinema. Since January 1st, 2013, he has watched and reviewed a movie every day. This is the blog dedicated to the project: www.madmovieman.com