Boats and Holmes: The Abysmal Victorian Step Brothers (Holmes & Watson review)

A remarkable cast utterly wasted in a truly unfunny and misguided film. The cinema was so quiet when the ‘jokes’ happened, you could actually hear Sir Arthur Conan Doyle turning in his grave. Do Not Watch.



Seriously though, it’s completely dreadful. I don’t want to jump onto the bandwagon of the complete critical mauling this film is getting…but it really is deserved.

I’m embarrassed for Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly who are such incredible stars when correctly cast. In this one they clearly are not, their accents are awful and their characterisation is horrid. Sherlock is no longer a genius, he is a blabbering idiot who slurs his words. And, in one of the more creepy and problematic plot points, he falls in love with someone who is claimed to have the mental age of three…hmmm…. You can’t just cast two likeable leads, have them act out your terrible script and expect it to be good. All great films start on the page, and then come to life with the actors and great direction. With such a bad starting point, it’s no wonder this is where it ended up.

Pam Ferris, Ralph Fiennes, Steve Coogan, Hugh Laurie and Rob Brydon all have small parts in this horrid affair, and it will unfortunately also be a stain on their grand filmographies. I can only imagine how huge their pay cheques were to convince them.

The film is incredibly scrappily put together. Its badly edited, has scenes that run for far longer than they should, and it has some of the worst dubbing I have ever seen in film. In some scenes, the character’s mouths move at completely different times to when they are speaking, despite the fact it is clearly visible and could easily be re-recorded. Even Tommy Wiseau’s ‘The Room’ was better dubbed than these scenes.

There are all sorts of inaccuracies in the script considering it’s a Victorian set film. Bizarrely, the finale takes place on the Titanic, despite that being in 1912. Albert Einstein, Charlie Chaplin and Harry Houdini all appear in the film, despite the fact they were famous after Queen Victoria died. And there are untimely jokes about Donald Trump, selfies, drunk ‘telegramming’ (drunk texting) and the use of a record player to play the music from ‘Ghost’ while two people perform an autopsy…

Oh, and there is a whole minute while people think of different ways to describe masturbation…

AND, just when you think it can’t get any worse, they broke into a song and dance number…

It’s just a whole bunch of poorly written sketches clumsily fumbled together. It could almost be called a parody film, if only it wasn’t for the fact that parody films are funny.

Nothing more can be said other than it’s completely misjudged and horribly unfunny. All blame must go to Etan Cohen (definitely not to be confused with genius Ethan Coen, one half of the Coen Brothers). He is the sole screenwriter and director of this sh*tshow, and he should be thoroughly, THOROUGHLY ashamed of himself.

1 Stars

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