There’s a crime taking place in ‘Holmes and Watson’…..but it’s one that has nothing to do with the storyline.
The REAL crime for what should be an epic re-teaming of the ‘Stepbrothers’ themselves, Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly, is that there isn’t much here for the boys to work with. No real shenanigans, really. In fact, given the set-up…a parody of Sherlock Holmes and his trusty partner in solving-crime, Dr. Watson…director and writer Etan Cohen seems rather clueless in how to attack this thing.
Here’s the shred of good news I can uncover for Ferrell fans – ‘Holmes and Watson’ is occasionally dumb in all the right places – i.e., the stuff that you found gut-busting in fare like ‘Talladega Nights’, probably the most insipid, low-grade style of humor, is alive and well in this picture and, though it’s not as clean a hit as before, will probably find its mark. But you have to sift through a ton of slow n’ lazy material to find it.
Storyline? The movie is about Sherlock Holmes (Ferrell) and Dr. John Watson (Reilly), and their pursuit of arch nemesis, Professor Moriarty (Ralph Fiennes), who is threatening to kill Queen Victoria in four days’ time. That’s about all you need to know. There are numerous cameos from famous faces like Hugh Laurie, Kelly Macdonald (who plays Holmes’ housekeeper, a self-admitted ‘trollop’), and Steve Coogan. But it’s all so overshadowed by embarrasingly unfunny bits (a lactating Dr. Watson? Really??) that even if there was evidence of comedy brilliance here, you’d need the world’s greatest detective to find it.