Entertainment » Movies

Holmes & Watson

by Derek Deskins
EDGE Media Network Contributor
Tuesday Apr 9, 2019
Holmes & Watson

Trailers aren't always accurate indicators of the quality of a movie. They are short compilations of the film's "best" moments, meant to lure you to the theatre and fork over your hard-earned dollars. They are the ultimate expectation setter and the culprit of let-downs. So you shouldn't judge a movie by its trailer unless that movie is "Holmes & Watson." If that's the case, judge the crap out of that dumpster fire, because it only gets worse.

Here I sit, roughly a week since I endured the cinematic crime that is "Holmes & Watson," and as I try to synthesize my experience into words, I can't for the life of me even remember what the movie was about. It's clearly a Sherlock Holmes movie, but short of that, I cannot recall any pertinent plot point, or, admittedly, who played whom beyond the titular leads. Is it that "Holmes & Watson" is so utterly incomprehensible that it opened a sort of time vortex that swallows up your memories of whatever flashed across the screen? I mean, of course not... but maybe.

My memory be damned, here is what "Holmes & Watson" claims to be about (at least according to Wikipedia): Longtime friends Sherlock Holmes and John Watson are hot off of the trial for Holmes' arch-enemy Moriarty. Now, the pair is headed to Buckingham Palace for a surprise party. At the party, a dead body is discovered in the massive celebratory cake. The corpse is accompanied by a message from Moriarty claiming that the Queen will be murdered in four days' time. Now it is up to Holmes and Watson to solve the mystery before the Queen loses her life.

We did this to ourselves. We loved Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly so much in "Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby" that we were gifted with "Step Brothers." But like spoiled children, that wasn't enough; we needed more of this duo. But what we didn't realize is that this wasn't just a duo, it was actually a trio. Writer-director Adam McKay has long been a collaborator of Ferrell's, and he became synonymous with the Ferrell brand of humor. McKay, however, is slowly stepping away from the goofier side, making smarter movies that can win him Oscars. Writer-director Etan Coen (not Ethan Coen) takes over creative duties for "Holmes & Watson" and it's hard not to point an extremely accusatory finger at him for every single one of the film's missteps.

The Blu-ray release doesn't do much of anything to make the movie any less abysmal. It is slapped together with about as much skill as a teenager that just found out that he had a paper due today. There a few forgettable featurettes and a "line-o-rama," which is just a series of alternate lines that aren't as funny as the unfunny stuff that ended up in the movie. Perhaps most oddly is the near-hour of deleted and extended scenes. These scenes literally make for over half of the movie's actual runtime, and all they do is prove that apparently, the movie could have been worse.

"Holmes & Watson" is an offensively bad movie. Despite being populated with a shockingly talented cast and supported by a central duo with undeniable chemistry, it is so awfully written and mishandled that it is hard to comprehend just how it could be this bad. There's the fringe change that writer-director Etan Coen has assembled some complex puzzle of humor that only Holmes himself could solve, and we are all just too simple to figure it out. What's more likely is that "Holmes & Watson" is a poorly written, terribly directed, and misguided folly that was so excited to have John C. Reilly and Will Ferrell together that it forgot to do anything remotely funny.


"Holmes & Watson"
Blu-ray + DVD + Digital HD
$19.99
https://www.sonypictures.com/

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