However, as well as the pre-opening credits scene being pretty good (which could be because Ferrell isn’t in it, as it shows the pair meeting as children), I also saw the extreme backlash the film had; and since I rarely seem to follow the status quo with what’s good or bad in films, thus lay out the challenge to see if this was actually a GOOD film.
Now, I say pre-opening credits scene, but I happened to see the US opening before I saw the film in full on this disc, so that scene is not here. Instead, they’re both adults and, yes, Ferrell (as Sherlock Holmes) is present, and inadvertently persuading Watson (Reilly) not to commit suicide by jumping onto his giant marrow. So, apart from the crappy premise and making light of mental illness, why did they make TWO openings?!
There is instantly one good thing to note, though: This film is only 90 minutes long, and how I long for more films to run that length, rather than babbling for way over two hours when they don’t need to (*cough* Avengers: Endgame *cough*)
There’s references to Donald Trump with Will Ferrell swapping his hat for a fez emblazoned with the words, “Make England great again” and an early “fake news” comment, as well as many more later on.
Elsewhere, the pair are punching each other in the face after thinking it’s the only way to deal with a mosquito that lands on each other’s face; a Ghost spoof where pottery is exchanged for an autopsy.
I laughed briefly about the things which caused him to vomit when he last visited the city morgue, as well as a graphic which applies Sherlock’s thinking to trying to take a wee outside, and one or two slapstick moments, but in the final analysis, this is a rather pointless exercise, with too many of the jokes being the kind of thing we’ve seen done a million times before. It’s clear that someone thought that a revered I.P and these two leads could be a surefire hit without any effort, but no.
Billy Zane also appears as Billy Zane, in a spoof of the last time he was famous, playing that complete upper-class prat in Titanic. However, do bear in mind that the Titanic made its maiden voyage in 1912, while Queen Victoria (Pam Ferris) died in 1901. Still, don’t expect much in the way of facts in this movie.
Overall, however, it’s so bad, it didn’t even recoup the whole of its $42m budget, achieving just $40m in 9 weeks.
Even Steve Coogan (as Gustav Klinger), said in an Empire magazine podcast in January 2019, “I think in 20 years time when the dust has settled and people are able to look at Holmes and Watson objectively, I think people will say ‘It’s still rubbish”.
However, one man’s meat is another man’s poison. I loved David Bowie’s 1987 album, Never Let Me Down. Who was most disappointed by it? David Bowie.
One final point: BBFC’s site lists the cinema version as being 89 minutes 46 seconds, while this is the “Re-edited version” at 89 minutes 10 seconds. Erm… why?!
The extras are as follows:
- Line-O-Rama (5:35): Testing out various lines to see which ones worked best on the day.
Oddly, the whole package looks to still be a 12-certificate, despite one of the lines being Kelly Macdonald’s “Shut your geggy, you c**t puddle!”
- Will & John: Together Again (5:09): Blowing smoke up each other’s behinds.
- Seriously Absurd: The Cast (8:27): More of the same, but with more of the cast.
- Mrs Hudson’s Men (1:12): She’s a lady of the night and spends time with Mark Twain, Harry Houdini, Sigmund Freud, Charlie Chaplin and Albert Einstein. This is the only time where some of them actually get to speak on camera.
- Deleted and Extended Scenes (54:12): 19 of them, so you can’t say you don’t get value for money..
- Audio descriptive track: Does exactly what it says on the tin.
The menu is a static shot of the two leads with an unrelated piece of music in the background. There are 16 chapters, and subtitles in 14 languages, all listed further down below.
Running time: 90 minutes
Studio: Sony Pictures
Released: May 6th 2019
Picture: 1080p High Definition
Sound: DTS HD Master Audio 5.1, DTS 5.1, Dolby Digital 5.1
Languages: DTS 5.1 HD-MA (English, French, Spanish); Dolby Digital 5.1 (Russian)
Subtitles: English SDH, Arabic, Danish, Dutch, Estonian, Finnish, French, Latvian, Lithuanian, Norwegian, Russian, Spanish, Swedish, Ukranian
Format: 2.39:1 (ARRIRAW)
Disc Format: BD50
Director: Etan Cohen
Producers: Will Ferrell, Adam McKay, Jimmy Miller, Clayton Townsend
Screenplay: Etan Cohen
Characters: Arthur Conan Doyle
Music: Christophe Beck, Mark Mothersbaugh
Sherlock Holmes: Will Ferrell
Dr. Watson: John C Reilly
Grace Hart: Rebecca Hall
Inspector Lestrade: Rob Brydon
Mrs. Martha Hudson: Kelly Macdonald
Millicent: Lauren Lapkus
Queen Victoria: Pam Ferris
Professor James Moriarty: Ralph Fiennes
Young Holmes: Hector Bateman-Harden
Young Watson: Codie-Lei Eastick
Sherlock’s Mom: Laura Stevely
Nicotine Stains / Nancy: Layla Rose Boyce
Jane: Sadie Newman
Seamus: Harry Baxendale
Bridgette: Ella Bright
Lestrade’s P.C. Smalls: Kieran O’Brien
Doxy: Noah Jupe
Sigmund Freud: Wolf Roth
Lestrade’s Wife: Jana Perez
Mark Twain: Nathan Osgood
Albert Einstein: David Shackleton
Charlie Chaplin: Paul Cassidy
Jonathan Nightingale: Bronson Webb
Telegraph Operator: Oliver Maltman
Titanic Ship Officer Liaison: Jamie Baughan
Titanic Guest: Helen Duff
Titanic Ship Officer: Gerard Monaco
Houdini: Ben Lee
Billy Zane: Billy Zane
Gustav Klinger: Steve Coogan (uncredited)
Reviewer of movies, videogames and music since 1994. Aortic valve operation survivor from the same year. Running DVDfever.co.uk since 2000. Nobel Peace Prize winner 2021.