I had been warned how bad Will Ferrell and John C Reilly’s take on Sherlock Holmes and John Watson would be, but I am loyal to both (either together or apart). Surely the duo behind Talladega Nights could pull something together, right?
Nope. This film truly was awful. I had precisely one audible chuckle come out of me, and that was due to a quick cameo at the end of the film. There were a couple of kinda smart anachronistic jokes sprinkled in or hidden in the background, but not enough to pull the film thru all of the rest of the crap layered in. Honestly, it felt like I was watching a college theater production (and I say this having participated in many). Often times when doing a show that’s on the farce side of things, you end up bringing in random props or adding in stupid jokes that seem hilarious to you in your head at the moment. However, once you bring that in front of an audience, it simply doesn’t land and looks kinda dumb. That’s how the majority of the movie felt.
And look, it pains me to say all of that so bluntly. I do adore Ferrell and Reilly, and putting their spin on this classic seemed like a good idea. I just didn’t feel the same quality as their previous work. It felt lazy and rushed.
Don’t believe me, take a look at some of the editing. Poor Kelly Macdonald in particular got the short end of that stick. That Scottish treasure has a pretty thick accent, so naturally some voice over work was needed to rerecord some of her lines. They didn’t even bother to match up her words with her mouth in a few places. It was so unacceptably sloppy and this wonderful actress deserves much better.
All that said, there is one bit that I appreciated. Hugh Laurie had a scene as Sherlock’s brother Mycroft. Laurie’s House MD is my absolute favorite interpretation of Sherlock Holmes, and will be a tough one to ever beat. The scene wasn’t particularly great, but I liked seeing his connection to the material celebrated. But you’re prolly much better off watching a couple episodes of House than this film. What a way to end 2018 at the movies
Holmes and Watson – \m/