Mr Holmes DVD Review

DVD Review by Andy Box

The Premise
Set in 1947, Mr Holmes follows a long-retired Holmes living in a Sussex village with his housekeeper and rising detective son. But then he finds himself haunted by an unsolved 50-year old case. Holmes memory isn't what it used to be, so he only remembers fragments of the case: a confrontation with an angry husband, a secret bond with his beautiful but unstable wife.

The Review
Are you ready for a Retirement Holmes?

As an avid fan of Sherlock Holmes and anything slightly Conan-Doyle I was unimpressed by this most recent attempt to bring the legendary fictional detective to the big screen.

But it stars Sir Ian McKellen, I hear you cry.

You point out that it is directed by Bill Condon (Breaking Dawn) who drew on his previous working relationships with McKellen (Gods & Monsters) and with Laura Linney (The Fifth Estate) to put together a powerful cast who turn in above average performances.

You finally counter, that the movie is set in beautiful rural England and in 1947 London and is shot so flawlessly that you can almost smell and taste the locations.

Why then does this movie not add up to the sum of its parts? There are numerous reasons as to why not but the main one is that in recent times we have been spoilt by excellent examples of Mr. Holmes. Cumberbatch, Downey Jr, and Jonny Lee Miller’s are three performances that stand out.

However in each of these the actors have been accompanied by writing of a high standard, big budgets and a quirky quintessential super sleuth. All of which appear to be missing from this recent production.

In short, Mitch Cullin’s writing is somewhat elementary and as a result has cast somewhat of a shadow on the fine contributions of all involved. The real crime is that what has the potential to be a good film has been spoilt and what you are left with is a slow moving film that in my opinion is not quite enough, even for those die-hard Holmes fans.  

The Verdict
You may wish to drop the grandparents off for this one.

The Trailer

The Info
DVD Releases: 9th December 2015
Rating: PG – Contains adult themes
Duration: 104 minutes 
Genre:  Drama
Starring: Ian McKellen, Milo Parker, Laura Linney, Hattie Morahan, Patrick Kennedy, Hiroyuki Sanada
Director: Bill Condon (The Fifth Estate, Twilight Breaking Dawn Part 2)

The Extras
The film originally was titled "A Slight Trick of the Mind", after the Mitch Cullin novel it was based on, but the filmmakers changed it to the simpler and more accessible "Mr Holmes."

Sir Ian McKellen has worked with fellow "Sherlock Holmes" actors Benedict Cumberbatch and Sir Christopher Lee in "The Lord of the Rings" and "Hobbit" film series. He is also the second notable Marvel Films actor to take the role of Sherlock Holmes, after Robert Downey Jr.. Although, Benedict Cumberbatch playing Dr Strange would make him the third.

Nicholas Rowe, who plays the Matinee Sherlock, had previously played the title character in Young Sherlock Holmes (1985).

Philip Davis, who plays Inspector Gilbert, also starred in one episode of Sherlock (2010).

In Nicholas Rowe's previous film Young Sherlock Holmes (1985), the elder Watson was voiced by Sir Michael Hordern, who previously played Gandalf in the BBC Radio version of The Lord of the Rings. In his own portrayal of Gandalf, Ian McKellen worked with Martin Freeman, who plays Watson on Sherlock (2010). The younger on-screen Watson was played by Alan Cox, whose father Brian Cox appeared with McKellen in X-Men 2 (2003).

To be screened at the Berlin Film Festival in February 2015.