Film Review: Holmes & Watson (2018)

‘This film offers nothing but a waste of 90-minutes’


Holmes & Watson, 2018

Directed by: Etan Cohen

Written by: Etan Cohen

Starring: Will Ferrell, John C. Reilly, Rebecca Hall, Rob Brydon, Steve Coogan, Ralph Fiennes


The film that Netflix didn’t want. A film so bad it’s languishing below 10% on Rotten Tomatoes and is being labelled as one of the worst films of 2018. A film so bad many of its audiences have walked out of the film. But is it really that bad?

Yes. Yes, it is.

Loosely based on the characters created by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Holmes & Watson takes a more slapstick, comedic approach to their crime solving adventures. After a threat is made to Queen Victoria (Pam Ferris), Sherlock Holmes (Will Ferrell, Daddy’s Home 2) and Dr. John Watson (John C. Reilly, Chicago) are tasked with saving the day.

Let’s start with the film’s positives: visually it looks nice. The costume designer is a BAFTA-nominated designer (Beatrix Aruna Pasztor) which explains how well it looks costume-wise, and the sets all look kind-of authentic to the times (it’s obvious a big-budget went on to the film . . . although it’s not obvious as to why they gave this screenplay a big budget). And it’s also impressive how they managed to get such a big-named cast to appear. The big-named cast, though, will be the only thing driving people to see this film.

Holmes and Watson, 2

I hate ratting on films, but sometimes they are just really bad, and if I wasn’t watching films for this website, I would have walked out of this film long before the credits rolled. There’s no character development, there’s no clever jokes, there’s no steady pace to it; it’s a chaotic mess from start to finish. There’s only so many times you can use a joke that Watson fancies the Queen, despite her sexually unappealing appearance, or how many times a woman can pretend to have the mental age of a four-year-old (Lauren Lapkus), or how sexually promiscuous Rose (Kelly Macdonald) is with famous names of the time.

Its comedy is immature (summed up by the only laughter in my viewing coming from a child sat near me), the dialogue is terrible and doesn’t mash with what would have been spoken in 19th-century England, the acting is confused (some seem to act too serious when others are too farfetched) and the plot is just boring. Aside from a cameo appearance from WWE wrestler Braun Strowman (playing a character also named Brawn, but with a different spelling for whatever reason) and the costume designers not embarrassing themselves, this film offers nothing but a waste of 90-minutes.


Personal: *     Acting: *     Writing: *     Presentation: * * *

Overall Rating: * ½


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