Sherlock Holmes is easily one of the most iconic and recognizable names in pop culture. He's a character that has just about touched every medium known. He's inspired the creation of other pop culture icons like the dark knight, himself, Batman. Most moderately hes been repopularized thanks to Robert Downey Jr's duology of films and the BBC's Sherlock television series. While these mediums for the famous detective have featured comedy and wit, its a medium that Holmes has yet to enter in with both feet first. That is until now.
Holmes and Watson is the latest from comedy duo, Will Ferrell and John C. Riley. Imagine taking the basic plot of Talladega Nights, the duo's first pairing, and going back to the 1800s. The queen of England's life has been threatened and it's up to the great Sherlock Holmes and Dr. John Watson to solve the case.
Given the fact that this the pairing's third outing together, I will say the chemistry here is strong. Riley and Ferrell play exquisitely well of one another in comedic timing. Given the past history of not only this partnership, but the source material itself, the film does have a bit of a formulaic flavor to it. The overall arc of Holmes and Watson feels like a dose of Deja Vu for a couple of Nascar racers. Not to mention, we've been the thinking exercises of Sherlock in prior variations on the character. Deja Vu aside though; there are sometimes in which these sequences actually are rather hilarious and some that are uncomfortable.
I will also give props to writer-director, Etan Cohen. Holmes and Watson does come equipped with some pretty witty humor. The film utiziles its medium to not only shine a commentary on the political age of it's time period, but also our modern age. These are moments where you may find yourself truly unable to hold back your tears. Not to mention, that it uses its intelligence to not only give its protagonist a satisfying origin story. It also flips the knowledge of the mythology with its' antagonist. Brilliantly tying all of the film's, and I do mean ALL, up by the credits.
Clocking in for just a bit under ninety minutes, there is a lot of intelligence with this film. Yet, there is just as much about it that feels like Saturday Night Live's "Drunk Uncle". For a film taking place within mid-1800s, it certainly gives alot of attention to early 20th century influencers like Alfred Einstein and Charlie Chaplin. I understand that it's a comedy and it rarely takes itself seriously (Side Note: I say that because the film's climax is actually rather heartfelt and touching) but commit to the time period. It makes the film feel uneven and unsure of itself.
Overall, Holmes and Watson, is a comedic take on a character who is usually rather serious. It reunites Will Ferrell and John C Riley for a third time. While the chemistry between the comics are strong, some portions feel formulaic. Holmes, at times, wonders the streets in its' drunkenness - unsure of it's time period. However the arcs of the film's leads are surprisingly heartfelt and inspiring.
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Holmes and Watson is now playing in theaters. Holmes and Watson is property of Sony Pictures. We do not own nor claim any rights. Saturday Night Live is property of NBC & Broadway Video. We do not own nor claim any rights.