Movie Review: Holmes & Watson



Starring: Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly
Directed By: Etan Cohen (Get Hard)
Rated: PG-13
Runtime: 1 hour 30 minutes

          Last week I gave my list of the worst movies of 2018.  I opted not to see Holmes and Watson beforehand.  I saw the bad reviews, the zero percent on Rotten Tomatoes, all of that.  But I thought.  It can’t possibly be that bad.  I’ll be fine if I wait a week and catch it then.  More wrong I could not have been!  Holmes and Watson is the single worst movie of 2018.  Reaching my in memory banks it could be one of the ten worst this decade.  It is bad.  I was fully prepared for this to be bad, and it was worse than what I had anticipated.

          Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly team up for the third time after the classic Step Brothers and the pretty good Talladega Nights.  The two feel like they’re buddies, but like they’re going through the motions playing the iconic literary characters Sherlock Holmes and Watson.  Everyone is reading their lines as fast as possible.  Almost as if they want to get it over with just as much as you do. 

          Full disclosure, I paid with a gift card.  It cost me nothing, and I still feel cheated after sitting through this slog.  I love Will Ferrell movies.  Anchorman is one of the five funniest movies I’ve ever seen in my life.  Will is a natural.  So this is coming from someone who has no hatred of Will Ferrell movies.  Don’t look now, but Will Ferrell hasn’t been the star of an actual funny movie in almost a decade.  Look it up.  He’s reaching that Adam Sandler territory.  Which fun fact, like Adam Sandler movies nowadays are straight to Netflix.  Sony knew this movie was bad, tried to sell Holmes and Watson to Netflix, and wash their hands of it, and Netflix declined.  Think of the flood of original content coming from Netflix.  They turned it down!  “Nah, not for us”.  Wow!

          2018 was one of the worst years for comedy movies in recent memory.  Nothing became a wide spread hit.  Maybe Game Night from earlier this year.  That made 70 million at the box office.  Blockers made 60.  No huge hits were comedies this year.  Holmes and Watson represents a cherry on top of a disastrous year for the genre. 

          I found it hard to believe that two people as funny as Ferrell and Reilly could produce something so unfunny.  They have chemistry.  I’ve seen it in two other movies.  This partnership works.  Why isn’t it funny?  Why couldn’t they have improved some better punchlines?  I can only come up with that they didn’t care to.  Everyone got a paycheck.  Why bother?

          I found this to be a colossal failure on every level.  Acting.  Writing.  Directing.  It highlights the slump Will Ferrell is currently in.  Sure, financially his movies are still doing well.  But the content is terrible.  And listen to the Ron Burgandy podcast coming to iHeartRadio later this year!

          If you’ve heard how bad Holmes and Watson is, yes, the rumors are true.  It is THAT bad.  Maybe worse.  It was at a zero percent on Rotten Tomatoes, it’s climbed up to an 8 now.  Audiences are panning it too.  It isn’t just snooty critics hating it.  Audiences online are scoring it about a D-.  That’s from regular joes who go to the movies too.  Every joke is terrible, and very much “elbow to the ribs” type comedy.  As if the movie is reaching out to you and saying, “Get it?  Get it?  That’s the joke”.  This movie has no redeeming qualities and should be avoided like the plague.

On a scale of "See It/Stream It/Skip It", I'm clearly on the skip it side.  I’m warning you to skip it.  Don’t rent it.  Don’t watch it on TV.

If you liked Pixels, Jack and Jill, or Get Hard you might like Holmes & Watson (but I doubt it)

0.5 out of 5 stars

Full disclosure: Zero isn’t an option.  I put all of my rankings into IMDb to keep track of things digitally.  They don’t have zero as an option.  If they did, I’d give it zero stars.  This is the worst movie of 2018.


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