Movie Review – ‘Holmes and Watson’

Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly's third pairing couldn't be less funny if it tried.

Review by J.T. Johnson


DIRECTOR: Etan Cohen
WRITER: Etan Cohen
MUSIC: Mark Mothersbaugh

I’m a little late to writing my review for “Holmes and Watson” due to taking the holidays off. That means that I’ve already seen the abysmal Rotten Tomatoes score for the movie. I’ve also read the recent articles revealing that Sony tried to offload the film to Netflix and that the streaming juggernaut didn’t want it. With that much bad press, the movie couldn’t possibly live down to the low standards that others set for it. Right? RIGHT!?!

The movie follows Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly as the titular characters. Ferrell is Sherlock Holmes, a brilliant detective and Reilly is his ever faithful companion, Doctor Watson. The movie establishes a rather lame mystery that Holmes must solve and Watson is, unsurprisingly, a little perturbed that Holmes always gets credit for solving the cases.

I would love to tell you that the negative publicity surrounding the film is unfounded, but I’m in complete agreement with the naysayers I’m afraid. In fact, during my own viewing of the film, five separate groups of people walked out during the middle of the film. Oh, how I envied them.

The story’s jokes very rarely have anything to do with the Sherlock Holmes stories and are random as hell. You actually have jokes that blatantly comment about the times we currently live in and they all suck. Seriously, I never thought I’d get jokes about Trump that I not only didn’t like but would also make me feel insulted, but here we are.

The jokes that we do get about Holmes seem to be making fun of the Robert Downey Jr. films but even if those jokes had been funny, they’re still terribly outdated. The worst part about all of the jokes is that they are merely terrible setups for punchlines that never really happen. I would say that Ferrell and Reilly try to make things work, but even they don’t seem like they want to be there for the most part.

It was as if writer and director Etan Cohen wrote a simple script and that he thought that Ferrell and Reilly would simply come in, do a little improv and fix the whole thing. Instead, I’m left sitting in the audience wondering why in the hell they are wasting the talents of great actors such as Ralph Fiennes and Rebecca Hall.

“Holmes and Watson” definitely gave the Broken Lizard gang a run for their money. Yet, I still think that “Super Troopers 2” is the worst film of the year. This means that “Holmes and Watson” is not just one of the worst comedies of the year, but it also can’t even succeed at completely failing. I cannot stress it enough when I tell anyone who is contemplating watching this film to please avoid it at all cost!

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