27th Dec2018

‘Holmes and Watson’ Review

by Jak-Luke Sharp

Stars: Will Ferrell, John C. Reilly, Ralph Fiennes, Lauren Lapkus, Rebecca Hall, Kelly Macdonald, HUgh Laurie, Pam Ferris, Noah Jupe, Steve Coogan, Adam Scherr (aka Braun Strowman), Bella Ramsey, Rob Brydon, Wolf Roth, Michael Culkin | Written and Directed by Etan Cohen


To say that Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly’s latest joint exploit, Holmes and Watson, is an abomination to all senses and a travesty to cinema would be to understate the truly abysmal and quite frankly condescending nature of the final product.

Subjectively the comedic prowess and effectiveness of cheap and on the nose pop culture references are completely relative to that of an audience – of whom are completely game and invested for a fun, entertaining ride (no matter what the actual context of the story entails) even before the picture ever begins. In that regard Holmes and Watson, dare I say, justifies itself in the context of bringing entertainment to the masses, even if it retorts to Trump and masturbation jokes.

However, on all other fronts of production, director Etan Cohen’s latest is a truly disgraceful cinematic entity, of which Sony should be ashamed of releasing in such a calamitous and inadequate state as it is now, of which I can not stress enough how strong of a sentiment that is.

The sheer amount of inadequate errors of such simplistic forms of production methods are mesmerising. The multiple occasions throughout of  clear over-dubbing and ADR intervention is quite frankly absurd; evident in an abruptly broad manner in key sequences of exposition. It’s clear that plot and ultimately the structure have been changed midway through production or been better utilised by editors Dean Zimmerman and Erik Jessen, of who I have the utmost sorrow, of having to salvage such a trainwreck. Yet, the lack of initiative to cut away from such terribly dubbed scenes in much needed re-shoots is barbaric. However, horrific dubbing is far from Holmes and Watson‘s biggest issue. The film also boasts multiple sequences that are photographed out of focus by cinematographer Oliver Wood. An unbelievable attribute for such a standard brought by a Hollywood film of this magnitude with an estimated budget of over $50,000,000.

The utter amazement and scope in oversight of such issues, if from the producers, director or even studio, regardless, showcases the absolute neglect and ultimately condescending manner of how paying audiences of cinema are treated today. The end result and final product is quite frankly a disgrace. It is a testament to the lowest depths Hollywood will go to release a clearly inadequate and unfinished product for financial gain, regardless of the artistic impression or legacy this cancerous film will hold in years to come. Everyone and anyone in the boardroom watching a proposed “final product” of this travesty and passed it for general release need to vacate whatever job they have and hand themselves into the authorities for crimes against humanity.

Holmes and Watson is in cinemas now.


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