A humorous take on Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s classic mysteries featuring Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson.
Holmes & Watson is an over-the-top movie that opens with a young Holmes who managed to free himself from human emotions after being picked on by his schoolmates. The movie has genuinely funny moments; yet, some of the humor simply doesn’t work. When it does, though, it is quite humorous.
The plot, what there is of it, revolves around Holmes (Will Ferrell) and Watson (John C. Reilly) trying to expose a professor Moriarty double who is committing crimes and diverting the attention to Moriarty. And Moriarty is, of course, the “Napoleon of Crime,” according to Holmes. In addition, Holmes and Watson are assigned to save the queen’s life as there is a great threat against her. One of the nice things about the movie is that it captures some of the most famous things Holmes is known for: his logic, his lack of emotion, his pipe smoking, and even his famous quote, “Whenever you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains—however improbable—must be the truth.”
Of course, Ferrell and Reilly are known for being a comedy duo, but there are several moments in this film, much like their other get-togethers, that are very crude. However, when Holmes accidentally releases the bees he has caged, it is one of those moments that are genuinely funny as they try to escape the bees’ wrath. Ferrell and Reilly do what they can with the material given, but the material comes up short. When the two think they have accidentally murdered the queen, they try stuffing her body in a trunk. It doesn’t whack the funny bone very hard despite their best efforts.
Basically, this movie is Holmes and Watson set in old-time England but with a very modern flavor of comedy and crudity. In one scene, when Watson and a female doctor examine a corpse in the morgue, they use a cream on the body and start sensually creaming up the body—definitely not a scene for everyone, nor is it intended as a wholesome family film with its crude comedy, language, and sexual comments and innuendos in multiple scenes.
The Dove Take
The movie squeezes out a few laughs from the audience here and there, but too many scenes miss the funny bone, and it fails for sure as a family-friendly film.