Full disclosure right up front...I have not seen Holmes & Watson, a Sherlock Holmes spoof film starring Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly as the famous duo, that just came out on Christmas Day 2018. I had seen the trailer for the film, posted below, and had initially thought it might be one of those movies that fits into the category "So Bad It's Good." But judging from the reviews that are coming in, this may be a "Wait for Netflix" or even "Won't Waste My Time" sort of film. Here's the trailer...(WARNING: there is some adult language in the clip. You've been warned.)
Sure, it looks stupid, but how bad could it possibly be? Judging from the reviews that have been aggregated on RottenTomatoes.com, the answer may be...pretty bad. The film currently holds a score of 4% from film critics, and only 24% as an audience score.
Phrases such as "abysmally unfunny" or "astoundingly lame" seem to be the recurring opinions in review after review. One critic reported: "Holmes & Watson is one of those movies that goes beyond unfunny and into a comedy-cubist zone, where jokes are no longer recognizable and laughter is philosophically impossible." Several critics have expressed their disappointment that they had already published their "Worst of 2018" lists just before this film came out. If only they had known...
A couple years ago, I wrote a review of the Michael Caine/Ben Kingsley spoof of Sherlock Holmes called Without a Clue. That film was unexpectedly delightful: it turned the Holmes mythology on its head, and was quite entertaining. So it is possible to spoof Holmes well, but it sounds like Holmes & Watson has failed in that task. I guess I'll have to figure out a different movie to see during the Christmas break. Anyway, dear reader, you have been warned. If you choose to see Holmes & Watson, you have assumed any risk that choice may entail. Thanks for reading!
UPDATE: Brad Keefauver, who runs the rather well known Sherlock site, Sherlock Peoria actually gave the film a glowing review! Not what I expected...
I'm a stay-at-home dad, and Director of Music Ministries at a United Methodist Church in Mt. Juliet, TN. And a longtime fan of Sherlock Holmes.