TL;DR – This is one of those films where you walk out thinking three things, 1) how dare you charge people money to see this, 2) I am embarrassed for everyone involved in the film & 3) how dare you charge people money to see this
Score – 0 out of 5 stars
Post-Credit Scene – There is no post-credit scene
Sometimes you see a film and you have to wonder ‘how did this get greenlit’, like people paid over 40 million dollars to put this together, agents recommended this movie to their clients, and they even got Alan Menken to write a story. However, instead of being excited when every big name cast member walked onto the film, you felt sad, like ‘oh no, they dragged Hugh Laurie into this mess too.’ Why is that, well this is because this is the worst film I have seen all year, and since I am writing this on the 31st of December, I doubt that will be surpassed because this is also the worst film I have ever reviewed. Hey good news Pixels, you are not on the bottom anymore.
So to set the scene, we open in as Watson (Will Ferrell) discovered Holmes (John C. Reilly) after returning from Afghanistan and decided to commit suicide by jumping off Holmes’ roof and misinterpreting Holmes’ want for him to jump off another roof, as a real concern for his wellbeing … yep … Flash forward and it is the trial off Moriarty (Ralph Fiennes) but it is not Moriarty, and then there is a dead body in a cake, and then the Queen’s (Pam Ferris) life is in danger, and then, look it really does not matter.
Why does this film suck, oh let me count the ways! Firstly, it is a parody written by someone who does not have a deep knowledge of the source material, so it only can make light of superficial parts of the Sherlock Holmes mythos which is then held together by slapstick comedy and crass jokes that lose their amusingness about two minutes into the film. Secondly, it is clear that most of the cast is phoning it in with their performances, like even they knew what a stinker this film was and did the bare minimum needed. Thirdly, the plot makes no sense, and cribs notes from much better films without providing any new insight to the Sherlock Holmes character, to the point I actually think it has damaged other Sherlock Holmes productions with its existence, and I think Sony owes a lot of people and companies a deep apology for ever releasing this film. As well as this, there are all sorts of issues with the production that clearly they did not take the time or simply could not be bothered to fix, like for example on several occasions the lip sync was clearly out of place, that is where the performance and the dialogue were recorded separately and then spliced together … poorly. Finally, this is a style of comedy that pretends to be focused on the comedic stylings of the lead characters, but they are woefully miscast, and even the America take on the British classic is poorly integrated to the point that when they got on their Trump rant there was an audible eye roll in the cinema I was in.
In the end, do we recommend Watson & Holmes? No, goodness no, completely not, I would not even recommend going to hate-watch it. Do not give a single cent of your money to this film, indeed, I am sorely wondering if I should ask to be reimbursed the money I paid to go see it. This was an ill-conceived film which was a failure on all counts, and hell, I discovered after the fact that even Netflix apparently passed on this film, and if you can’t sell it off to them, well that should be all you need to know. Somewhere out there, someone had to be fired for ever greenlighting this, I hope, and I hope you do not waste your money or your time with this film.
By Brian MacNamara: You can follow Brian on Twitter Here, when he’s not chatting about Movies and TV, he’ll be talking about International Relations, or the Solar System.
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Credits – All images were created by the cast, crew, and production companies of Watson & Holmes
Directed by – Etan Cohen
Written by – Etan Cohen
Based on – Characters by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (I am so sorry Sir Doyle)
Music & Songs by – Mark Mothersbaugh, Alan Menken & Glenn Slater
Cinematography by – Oliver Wood
Edited by – Dean Zimmerman
Starring – Will Ferrell, John C. Reilly, Rebecca Hall, Ralph Fiennes, Rob Brydon, Kelly Macdonald, Steve Coogan, Lauren Lapkus, Pam Ferris, Hugh Laurie, Bella Ramsey, Scarlet Grace, Noah Jupe, Braun Strowman & Billy Zane
Rating – Australia: M; Canada: PG; Germany: 12; New Zealand: M; United Kingdom: 12A; United States: PG-13