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Comedy - General

Holmes & Watson (2018)

Duration1h 30m
RatingsUK: 12A, USA: PG-13, Denmark: 11 
Source of storyA “humourous” take on the characters created by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.
DirectorEtan Cohen
Writers/ScriptEtan Cohen
StarringWill Ferrell, John C. Reilly, Rob Brydon, Kelly Macdonald, Pam Ferris, Ralph Fiennes, Rebecca Hall, Steve Coogan, Hugh Laurie,
RatingsIMDb: 3.9/10 by 36,513 people.  Rotten Tomatoes: 10% by 79 reviewers. Review2view 1/10.

Elevator Pitch: It is early days for Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson, and for Mrs Hudson Holmes’s housekeeper, so Holmes does not yet know what sort of hat to wear. Holmes is involved in the trial of the evil Moriarty, and convinces the judge that the man in the dock is an impostor. The man is released, and at a birthday party for Holmes at Buckingham Palace a body is discovered, possibly poisoned by a Moriarty associate. The two also learn that Queen Victoria is to die in two days. Holmes is led to believe that Watson is the killer and has him put in jail, but later he is released and we find out that the potential killer is Mrs Hudson and that the assassination is to take place on board the Titanic at its christening party. Can the two save the day?

Content: No sex or nudity although references to masturbation and Mrs Hudson discovered in Holmes’s apartment apparently just having had sex with various men. There are a whole bunch of comedy scenes which are sort of modern takes on Victorian mores. None of them are funny. There are scenes involving Queen Victoria graduating to a sort of climax when the duo think they have killed her and attempt to stuff her into a trunk. There is romance, the joke being that Grace Hart, Watson’s love interest is a doctor.

A View: You would think that such a stellar cast would have produced the goods but it is packed with sadly misjudged humour. I gave it one point because of Rebecca Hall as Dr Hart, who seemed to be in a different movie. It lost money and swept the board at the 2019 Razzies. For me the low point was the attempt to stuff a poorly realised dummy of Queen Victoria into a trunk. Wrong in every way. When I used to assign standards to film I would have given this outing a Don’t Watch, so don’t watch it. It is terrible.

There have been three other Sherlock Holmes films reviewed on this site, all of them more watchable than this outing. They are: Sherlock Holmes, Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows and Mr Holmes

About Victor R Gibson

Author of this site three technical books and two novels


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