HOLMES & WATSON (NETFLIX) (2018)
SYNOPSIS: The Step Brothers are reunited – this time playing the world’s greatest detective and his loyal sidekick & biographer – as Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly star as Holmes & Watson. Together they join forces to solve a murder at Buckingham Palace. They soon realize that they only have 5760 minutes to solve the case, or the Queen will be next.
After the success of Talladega Nights and Step Brothers, Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly reteams for the third time but despite their wondrous chemistry, the comedic duo is let down first and foremost by a truly, unfunny script.
While there were reports that audiences actually walked out of Holmes & Watson screenings when it was shown theatrically last December, we can only confirm for the record it’s indeed that badand it’s Razzie award for worst picture is definitely deserving.
Sherlock Holmes (Ferrell) is tasked by the Queen of England to solve a murder case after a corpse is found buried inside Holmes’ birthday cake along with a message from Holmes’ arch enemy, Professor James Moriarty (Ralph Fiennes). Together with partner John Watson (Reilly), Holmes must solve the mystery within four days or risk losing the Queen’s life.
The movie takes a long time to get the engine started in fact the entire flick relies on the bromance between the famous detective team that there is no urgency to dwell on the rest of the supporting cast and it’s antagonist or it’s plotting for the matter. Rebecca Hall’s Dr Grace Hart ends being the butt of Holmes’ sexist joke and the respectable Fiennes is thoroughly wasted as Moriarty which makes us wonder if he could play another villain in the rumoured third instalment of Robert Downey Jr’s version.
The script and direction by Etan Cohen (Get Hard) is horrendous to the point of boredom (which explains the walk out) as we see Holmes and Watson frequently engage in silly talk in their apartment and even a morgue. There’s plenty of lame skits and gags with both characters mostly raising their voice in a flimsy attempt to mask the insipid material. The bantering just goes on and on that none of the jokes manage to hit the bullseye in nearly every scene.
Even the physical gag and humour is largely dumb and stupid unless you count the duo trying their best to get rid of a presumed dead Queen into a trunk as “comedy”. The plot twist is so conveniently thrown in together with a last minute hasty development on the relationship between Holmes and Watson which sounds too simplified to be believable. Watch it only if you want to witness a disaster unfold.
P.S. There’s a bizarre love duet between Holmes and Watson that is written by the renowned Alan Menken that is far entertaining than the entire feature.
Review by Linus Tee