By: Oberst Von Berauscht (Six Pack) –
Sherlock Holmes (Will Ferrell) and Dr. Watson (John C. Reilly) are brought in to save Queen Victoria from a nefarious assassination scheme by the evil Moriarty (Ralph Fiennes). Moriarty’s principle scheme: to convince Holmes that his own partner is his enemy. And…. that’s really all there is to the plot. There are no twists or turns outside of that. I wish I had more to say about it, but I’ve been sitting here staring at the computer screen for a half hour now and I’ll be damned if I can recall anything else about it to note.
Oh yeah, They take a Selfie… so that happens. (fuck this movie)
This is the part of the review where I’m supposed to lead off with something positive. That’s a fool’s errand with this movie. I will say that it is at least mercifully short at a cool 90 minutes (including credits). Not merciful enough though.
The movie gets off to a terrible start, with an undercooked “young Sherlock” sequence meant to introduce you to the character and his motivations. These scenes are as unfunny as they are completely useless to the story. Adding to the confusion is some of the absolute worst post-production looping I’ve seen in a major Hollywood film. Almost none of the child actors’ mouths match that of the dialogue. The bad dubbing reoccurs sporadically throughout the film, too.
Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly have made a great team in the past, but in their ever-expanding quest to mine for humor, the crude mix they strike here is supremely unrefined. The comedy writing here is a disaster that would make an oil company feel right at home.
You want bigger laughs than this movie? Just look up Exxon-Valdez in a google image search
The feeling you get is that they both saw the script’s flaws and tried desperately to save the movie with improvisation. It must have been an off day… or a hundred in a row.
Truly shocked to discover Mark Mothersbaugh credited for the film’s score. Because I barely noticed any original music. The music that stuck out for me were a handful of horribly chosen anachronistic pop songs, along with one musical sequence that is destined for infamy. If Mothersbaugh was responsible for writing that musical sequence, he should be ashamed of himself.
Hey, remember that Guy Ritchie made some financially successful Sherlock Holmes movies a few years ago?
Writer/Director Etan Cohen does, and he thinks he can parody them.
These scenes are a microcosm of why this film doesn’t work comedically. Guy Ritchie’s movies were basically comedies already, with those sequences often being the funniest parts. A comedy making fun of a comedy can feel incestuous on its own, but when they’re done as lazily as they are here, it feels even less comfortable to watch.
They should consider giving a Razzie for worst makeup, as Will Ferrell’s Sherlock Holmes surely would win. His eyebrows look like shitstains and his face looks like plasticine. John C. Reilly’s Watson isn’t much of an improvement, either. In fact, if it came out that neither actor actually were on set, and they were full CGI recreations, I wouldn’t be very surprised.
There’s a distinct uncanny valley effect on display here.
Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly are truly talented individuals that make a heck of a team. A fact that is hopelessly squandered in this hellish quagmire of comedic failure.
Holmes and Watson (2018) Drinking Game
Take a Drink: for awful, anachronistic music
Take a Drink: any time Guy Ritchie’s “Holmesvision” is pathetically parodied
Take a Drink: for Ralph Fiennes, Steve Coogan, Rob Brydon, and other British celebrities slumming it.
Do a Shot: for the carcinogenic musical sequence.