Holmes & Watson review round-up: Will Ferrell, John Reilly film is a 'failure on almost every level'

FP Staff

Dec 27, 2018 16:57:09 IST

The parodic take on 221B Baker Street residents Holmes & Watson released in the United States on 25 December, and the first round of critics reviews are in with most panning the project because of its poor execution.

Will Ferrell plays Arthur Conan Doyle's beloved detective Sherlock Holmes whereas his Step Brothers' and Talladega Nights co-star John C Reilly plays John Watson.

Holmes & Watson review round-up: Will Ferrell, John Reilly film is a failure on almost every level

Holmes and Watson still. YouTube screengrab

The comedy, directed by Etan Cohen, also stars Rebecca Hall as Dr. Grace Hart and Ralph Fiennes as Holmes’ arch nemesis, Professor Moriarty. The film follows the famed crime-solving detective duo as they set out to unearth the culprit who is behind a threat at Buckingham Palace.

Here's what the critics are saying about Holmes & Watson:

The Hollywood Reporter: "Despite being filmed entirely in England and at numerous historical locations, Holmes & Watson boasts such ersatz-looking visuals that it may as well been shot entirely on soundstages. The overall shoddiness is typical of this feeble sendup that doesn't even manage to be as funny as the recent Benedict Cumberbatch and Robert Downey Jr. versions."

IndieWire: "In a movie that feels more disjointed than an episode of Saturday Night Live, all of best moments consistently return to the basic conceit of Holmes being an arrogant blowhard, and Watson trying to balance a sense of duty with a lack of self-worth."

Polygon: "It’s (Holmes & Watson) not quite the absurdist art that Step Brothers is, nor entirely the political commentary of Talladega Nights (a sharper look at the Bush years than this year’s Vice, with all due apologies to Adam McKay); instead, it falls halfway in between, failing to make a completely coherent meal out of either approach."

The New York Times: "...the filmmakers haven’t remotely figured out how to use Ralph Fiennes — as either Holmes’s nemesis Moriarty or a look-alike patsy — who appears so infrequently that he could just as well have been left on the cutting-room floor. In this context, it’s not really a case worth cracking."

Vulture: "Holmes & Watson... is camp. Worse: rhythmless camp. It has been consistently misdirected by its screenwriter, Etan Coen, whose idea of editing is to make throwaway jokes broad and broad jokes bludgeoning."

IGN: "It's nice to see Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly back together again, but they deserve better material than Holmes & Watson. The lazy gags, wasted supporting cast and unfocused writing make the film an unfunny chore, which evokes but doesn't come close to their earlier comedic outings."

Updated Date: Dec 27, 2018 16:57:09 IST