For a film that is a comedy, one usually wants to escape and laugh. That the three quarters full cinema was dead quiet except for one chuckle says a lot. Forced laughter is the name of the game here, but trying to laugh at a movie that simply isn’t funny is a chore. So if it isn’t funny, does it have any redeeming qualities?

A classic fictional character is torn to pieces and here he morphs into a idiotic buffoon, a cringe-worthy turn from Will Ferrell, whose acting is worse than the treatment of the character. It is incredibly clear just how hard he is trying to be funny, and the same applies to the writing. Despite trying so hard, they don’t succeed in any way.

Director Etan Cohen also felt the need to insert snippets of political satire, falling spectacularly, breaking its jaw and sending teeth flying across the screen. We all know that Trump is a twit, but Cohen seemed to think it was a good idea to have a jab at an obvious target, a jab that again is simply not funny. The same applies to the ‘jokes’ involving America’s love of firearms.

The only positive aspects of the film are the chemistry between Ferrell and Reilly and the inclusion of comic greats such as Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon. To see Ralph Fiennes name in the credits at the start of the film was briefly exciting, but perhaps unsurprisingly, all three feature in about ten minutes of the film. Combined. Nearly the entirety of the movie features Ferrell and Reilly acting like morons, and while this was obviously the intention, the attempts to create comical versions of Watson and Holmes is embarrassing.

If it isn’t funny, and it is labelled as a comedy, what else is here? The plot, if you could call it that, is absurdly basic and absurdly executed: the queen’s life has been threatened and despite their idiotic antics, they are trusted with the job. Nearly every scene is predictable, such as the many times Holmes plans an attack in his mind only to fail in a way that will only elicit laughs from hardcore fans of Ferrell.

It is a pity for Reilly as, unlike the one note Farrell, Reilly has range in his acting abilities, displayed recently in The Lobster – a comedy that is actually funny – and this year’s The Sisters Brothers, a western that, while not perfect, features a 180 degree turn from Reilly compared to his clumsy depiction of Watson here. If you have seen a Will Ferrell comedy, you have seen this. Save your money. This isn’t Stepbrothers. No, this is a comic disaster captured on film. There is simply nothing more to say.

1 beer out of a sixer. But to be honest, it doesn’t even deserve that.


24 Comments on “HOLMES AND WATSON [2018]

  1. Ouch. Not that I was expecting this to be a home run but I was going to at least try to watch it on DVD. Now I’m not so sure.


  2. Christ, what a misfire. You know a film is probably going to be terrible when critics aren’t even given a screener with which to pass first judgment. This thing looks like it should have gone direct-to-DVD. Or direct to the trash bin, either way.

    Liked by 1 person

      • I’m a big fan of Phoenix, love most of the roles I have seen of his. I don’t s’pose you have a recommendation for a good movie for either or both actors that I may not have seen?

        Liked by 1 person

      • Sorry for a belated response. I recently saw him in this really f**ked up thing called You Were Never Really Here. Highly recommend that one. I can’t really explain what that was about for fear of spoilers but that’s a good start!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Have you seen the documentary during the time he was kind of losing his shit in public, when he claimed he was quitting acting to pursue a rap career? I think its called “I’m Still Here” or something like that. It’s freaking ridiculous, really gives you an idea of how fragile an actor’s mental state can be. Either that, or how utterly self-absorbed they are. I actually could not finish it, Joaquin Phoenix was annoying me so much. I didn’t want it to make me hate him. Haha!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Wow, no shit! I don’t wanna see that then hehe. I love the dude, though, tbh, I reeeeally don’t understand why the personality and actions of an actor can affect how you see them on screen. Is it not hard to separate the two? Am I a bad person for liking Polanski films? Its stupid imo, the Weinstein thing has made people super sensitive to that shit now. People boycotting movies and absurd shit like that, as if it will make ANY difference to the money they make.

        As for Phoenix I need to find more movies of his. Did you see ‘Don’t Worry, he won’t get far on foot?’? Average movie tbh, too fractured and trying to be too many things at once, but Phoniex was supreme, he is one of the best around atm. I mean, The Master. That alone shows how insanely talented he is. How about that intense scene where PSH is throwing those questions at him in that movie?? Intennnnse!

        I’m gonna watch ‘You’re Not Really Here’ again right now. It is a trip! I’m still trying to figure it out, its my favourite genre of film – a ‘mindfuck’ movie 😛

        Another essay. Sorry dude!

        Liked by 1 person

      • And there’s another movie you were able to see that I haven’t! Don’t Worry He Wont get Far on Foot, never saw! Wanted to see.

        Yeah if you want to keep the impression of Phoenix that you already have in tact, I would recommend avoiding the documentary. It really makes him look pathetic. He WAS pathetic at that time, but hey. We have all been in low places. When your work is so public, it becomes pretty awkward when one’s inner demons become exposed and talked about (see: Ben Affleck, wonder if we will see him in Hollywood anytime soon).

        I don’t judge people for enjoying and appreciating a controversial artist’s work. The movie is the movie, life is life. That said, I can’t really watch Kevin Spacey movies n0w the same way I used to. It is a real shame. Polanski, ehh. While I really enjoyed Chinatown, I am kind of in this weird place where I don’t think I care much to work through his filmography. I take it on the good word of others that his brand of filmmaking and the spot he occupies on the timeline of cinematic history is significant. I am quite satisfied leaving my experience with him at that. Same with other huge directors. James Cameron. Roman Coppola. Sometimes I just like to sample rather than consume the whole thing. Idk, maybe that makes me lazy. Anyway, getting off topic. I think it is important we try to separate the artist from the real person. But if it ever came to someone being guilty of murder or something insane like that, do we still have the compassion then? Idk where to draw the line. Rape and sex abuse are very very serious things. Harvey Weinstein, IMO can burn in hell.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Spot on about your work being in the public eye…

        I agree about Weinstein, and I guess there is a line… but I still dig the early seasons of House of Cards. he’s just damned good. But also a weirdo nutcase.

        And I’m the same with some directors man, like Jacques Tati, I can’t be fucked, many others. Polanski was hit and miss after his wife was killed by the Manson gang, but I do think Repulsion and Rosemary’s Baby are essential viewing as they were so influential. The Babadook and mother! are just two examples of those movies influences. They also both have great female leads, way before it became the PC thing to do


  3. Oh boy, this really does sound awful. Part of me wants to see it to find out if it really is as bad as everyone is saying, but the last time I did that I put myself through the torture of watching Fantastic Four.

    Liked by 1 person

    • hahahaha!! Don’t waste your money mate, its one of the worst movies I have ever seen. Worse than Seth Rogans ‘The Interview’ even. Utter utter trash. So sad that Reilly is seen in this but his better roles are in smaller, less known films. He is so good in dramas


      • Indeed. It is what is advertised, Holmes and Watson but with the characters dumbed down. But not only are they dumbed down further than I thought possible, the entire thing is devoid of anything remotely funny. The trailer says it all really.. comedies usually put some of their best lines in the trailers (which is why I don’t watch them) but for me, the entire trailer is so far from funny it’d take me a day to drive the distance! As is the movie 😛


  4. Pingback: THE BEST AND THE REST OF 2018 | the epileptic moondancer

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