Holmes and Watson Movie Review: It Doesn’t Take A P.I. To See That This Movie is Bad

(Minor Spoilers, But Since You Shouldn’t See It Anyways, Who Cares?)

By: Mario Panzera 01.28.2019
A homemade meme, courtesy of yours truly. (Photo: Universal)

The comedic brilliance of duo Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly is unquestionable. Between the delightful Talladega Nights (2006) and the cult film Step Brothers (2008), the two garnered the attention of comedy-lovers everywhere. They were nearly legend status in the comedy world; until their most recent endeavor.

Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly's Christmas debut movie, Holmes and Watson, was a complete failure. Despite the cast of A-List actors, the horrid attempt at humor failed to appeal to anyone with vocal chords that gave them the ability to laugh. In fact, the theater in Las Vegas that I viewed it at had many people walk out of the theater before the halfway mark of the movie.

But they aren’t they only people to blame for this tragedy that I can only assume goes against the geneva convention, as director Etan Cohen was in charge of the project. He has a notable portfolio of movies, such as Madagascar 2 and Tropic Thunder, which makes it all the more surprising that he was involved with this project. His only other directorial project was Get Hard, another movie with Will Ferrell in the spotlight. That movie didn’t get very good reviews, although I did see it casually one summer and it was at least enough to keep me engaged.

It attempts gross-out humor, with Ferrell appearing to eat raw onions, and Reilly getting it on with Rebecca Hall over an autopsy in a morgue, but the only thing it achieved was making everyone in the room uncomfortable. At one point, the onions are revealed to be just an apple with a layer of onion skin to due an editing and camera operator error.

In fact, there was a point where even I thought maybe it could come back from the brink- a musical section after Holmes claims that Watson was behind all the murders, then realizes he misses him. It’s almost as if it’s meant to be fan-service to fans of Sherlock on the BBC, with many parallels in editing when Sherlock makes his deductions and even personalities of the characters themselves. Unfortunately, it fails miserably, as this musical that should’ve just been a “bit” turns into a full 10 minute ensemble piece. It’s the same song, with multiple fake-outs, and overall just a terrible experience.

If I had to give this movie a rating, numbers wouldn’t do it justice. It’s just a terrible, uncomfortable experience. There reason to believe that they knew this going in; there was no pre-screening for critics, and they released it on a day where families are going to movies together, and in mass. Save your money (and your time) and watch Step Brothers again instead.