“Holmes & Watson” stars Will Ferrell, John C. Reilly, Rebecca Hall, Rob Brydon, Kelly Macdonald, and Ralph Fiennes. Released on December 25, 2018, the film has Sherlock Holmes and Dr. John Watson attempting to protect Queen Victoria from their rival, Professor Moriarty.
The film is directed by Etan Cohen, who also directed “Get Hard” and wrote films like “Tropic Thunder” and “Men in Black 3”. Another Christmas has come and gone, so it’s time for me to look at some more movies before 2018 ends as well. Today, we’re starting things off with the one and only Sherlock Holmes. No, I’m not talking about the one who’s played by Robert Downey Jr. nor the gnome version of the character. I’m talking about the Sherlock Holmes who’s portrayed by the comedian, Will Ferrell. Believe me, I wish I was joking, too, but hey, if I can handle Johnny Depp’s version of Holmes, I can surely handle Will Ferrell’s take on the character in this film. This latest project from writer/director Etan Cohen is a comedic take on the famous British detective duo created by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle that may or may not provide a fresh perspective on the mythology. It is also the latest collaboration between Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly, the actors who delivered the laughs in “Talladega Nights” and “Step Brothers”, so seeing them together for the first time in 10 years should be satisfying for those who are familiar with those films. Even though I enjoyed some of the films that Ferrell and Reilly starred in, this one left me with some concerns based on what I saw in the trailer. It looked like it could provide some really stupid laughs, but at the same time, it resembled a huge bulls-eye for the detractors to throw some rotten tomatoes at. Still goes to show that people are being really strict on comedy these days. Despite those concerns, I was able to see it just out of pure curiosity, and truth be told, it was exactly what I was expecting it to be: a dumb comedy with a surprising amount of amusement thrown in there.
As I mentioned before, the film is a comedic and light-hearted portrayal of the famous detective, Sherlock Holmes (Ferrell), and his faithful sidekick, Watson (Reilly). So, if you’re not into Guy Ritchie’s take on the mystery-solving duo (which is highly unlikely), this one might be able to suit your needs (or not). Let me be the one to say that this film is obviously idiotic compared to the other adaptations of Sherlock Holmes. Remember the films that were based on the popular sketches from “Saturday Night Live”, like “Wayne’s World”? Well, this one is basically a “Saturday Night Live” sketch that’s not based on a “Saturday Night Live” sketch. This is one of the films that will heavily depend on what type of humor a person likes in terms of the concept. There could be people who like to laugh at dumb comedy and there could be people who like to laugh at smartly written comedies. Personally, I happen to fall into the category of the former. Yes, I did find it to be really stupid, but it was able to make me laugh, so consider myself satisfied. There were a bunch of times where the film’s sheer amount of idiocy overshadows its attempt to provide a suitable story and message that everyone will enjoy, but unlike the other comedies that disappointed me this year like “Action Point” and “Super Troopers 2”, “Holmes & Watson” was amusing enough to actually tickle my funny bone despite its ridiculous spoof-like shenanigans. I did manage to shake my head in disbelief at some of the stupid things the characters had done while I was laughing on the outside, but it was because I was making fun of myself for watching it in a good way. It’s too bad that the naysayers aren’t like that. Another thing that made it somewhat enjoyable for me was none other than Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly as the title characters. While not their best work, their chemistry between one another had the right amount of likability to steer past the film's narrative flaws and debatable humor. Oh, and there’s also an original song by Alan Menken and his lyric-writer Glenn Slater that was created for one of the film’s sequence. Just like the humor, it’s silly, but amusing.
Overall, it’s no mystery that “Holmes & Watson” is downright kooky and weak-minded, but for some reason, I was fine with it. Ferrell and Reilly were good together in their roles, but the film’s plot and humor will strongly depend on how a person likes these types of movies. This is another film that I happened to enjoy a bit more than the critics. I can understand why they didn’t like it, but they should also understand that everyone has a different sense of humor, and if they happen to enjoy this one just as much as I did, then they shouldn’t be judged so harshly by other people who didn’t think it was funny. If you’re still planning on seeing it, make sure you keep your expectations low before you walk into the movie. If not, then don’t worry about it, you’re not missing much.