Monday 22 July 2019

'It's so painfully unfunny we're not sure it can legally be called a comedy': the best of the worst reviews of Holmes & Watson

John C. Reilly, left, as Dr John Watson, and Will Ferrell, right, as Sherlock Holmes in Holmes & Watson
John C. Reilly, left, as Dr John Watson, and Will Ferrell, right, as Sherlock Holmes in Holmes & Watson
Will Ferrell, left, and John C Reilly starred together in Step Brothers (Willy Sanjuan/Invision/AP)
Caitlin McBride

Caitlin McBride

Step Brothers it is not.

Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly's spoof turns as Sherlock Holmes and Dr John Watson in the aptly named Holmes & Watson has been savaged by critics, with some cinema goers even walking out halfway through. After the rip-roaring success of the actors earlier onscreen pairing in 2008, everyone involved was seemingly hoping for another sprinkling of that comedic sparkle, but missed the mark. A lot.

In addition to being one of those rare films to receive less than 10% on Rotten Tomatoes, it's also revealed that Netflix, which sometimes purchases productions of questionable quality to satiate the appetites of subscribers, turned down an offer to buy it from Sony. Let's enjoy some of the more cutting criticisms of this project, which quietly entered cinemas last week.

Rolling Stone

"It’s so painfully unfunny we’re not sure it can legally be called a comedy."

Newsday

"Holmes & Watson is one of those movies that goes beyond unfunny and into a comedy-cubist zone, where jokes are no longer recognisable and laughter is philosophically impossible."

New York Times

"More laughs are all that would have been necessary to prevent the stagnation of “Holmes & Watson”; as the movie stands, smuggling in booze to dispel the sense of dull routine could only help. Sony sneaked this parody into theaters on Christmas without screenings for critics, normally evidence that the film in question is less than the work of a mastermind."

AV Film

"Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly hit career lows in the abysmally unfunny Holmes & Watson."

Entertainment Weekly

"Holmes & Watson, by contrast, finds that line, does a prat-fall over it, stomps around for a while, and then pees itself."

Den of Geek

"Holmes & Watson feels like an artefact from a parallel timeline where these two have been playing these characters on Saturday Night Live for the last five years or so."

Online Editors

Editors Choice

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