Skip to main content

Incredibles 2 All-New Teaser Trailer, Poster & Image

Movie Review: 'Mr. Holmes'

Ian McKellen is terrific as the aging sleuth, but is it worth your time?

Review by Matt Cummings

With so much Sherlock Holmes in our lives today, the central question behind Sir Ian McKellen's latest Mr. Holmes is this: do audiences want to see a Sherlock Holmes near the end of his life? While that answer will play out in the theaters, its slow burn and story holes might ultimately keep people away that were expecting the Robert Downey Jr version.

Thirty years after retiring from solving crimes, the 93-year-old Sherlock Holmes (McKellen) has left urban London to settle at the seaside Kent. But the heroic sleuth is not well: hampered by growing dementia, Holmes is also haunted by his last case, in which a young husband's concerns of infidelity led to something far worse. As Holmes struggles to recount the event for a book he's writing, he must deal with the frosty Mrs. Munro (Laura Linney) and her bright Holmes-like son Roger (Milo Parker) who manage the Kent estate. With Roger in tow, Holmes must recount the real happenings behind his last case, before age and senility catch up with him.

This is a very different Sherlock from the Cumberbatch and RDJ versions: McKellen's sleuth is pensive, apprehensive, feeble. Those are words that some won't be able to equate with the character, but it's not the reduced state of Holmes that keeps it from succeeding. McKellen is terrific, imbuing his version with both refined style and frightening mortality. His is the Sherlock at the end of the journey, and McKellen executes the roadmap to Oscar-worthy perfection. Parker is another refreshing young actor who keeps the story from becoming too dark, his personality jumping off the screen from the moment we meet him. We've been treated to some fine performances this year by young people, and Parker could stand at the top of them. Linney does well enough, but I was left wanting more; perhaps it's the extraordinary chemistry of Parker and McKellen that makes hers look fairly pedestrian. Perhaps without them I would have appreciated her performance more.

Together with Cinematographer Tobias Schliessler, Director Gary Condon shoots a beautiful film, complete with sweeping vistas and authentic-looking Victorian cities and costumes that should land Designer Keith Madden an Oscar nod. The only concern I experienced was the pacing, courtesy of Writer Mitch Cullin's reworking of his novel A Slight Trick of the Mind. Even at only 104 minutes, there's a little too much fat left on the meat that drags on Jeffrey Hatcher's script. Several scenes are too long and a key scene in the hospital is rushed. Considering the almost rapacious relationship between Holmes and Munro, their resolution is a sudden stop instead of a gentle glide. A series of look-backs to 1917's Japan simply do not work and feel like a completely separate story that gets shoehorned in. Other elements are also hard to fathom, with Holmes' 30-year reclusiveness among them. He's a problem solver, a man who admits that he must be doing something, lest he feels unwanted. And yet, that's all the sleuth had done prior to his exodus to Kent. It's an odd sensation to experience a film that works so well on so many levels, yet suffers in areas you wouldn't expect.

Mr. Holmes is a textbook independent film, and perhaps that's the problem. If the slow-burn character studies of arthouse films are your thing, I recommend it. But this is neither a frenetically-paced action thriller nor particularly well-done character story with a surprising twist. Audiences expecting anything more will be immeasurably disappointed. Yet, don't be surprised to see a couple of Oscar noms come February; it certainly features several noteworthy examples.

Mr. Holmes is rated a refreshing PG for thematic elements, some disturbing images and incidental smoking and has a runtime of 104 minutes.

Discuss this review with fellow SJF fans on Facebook. On Twitter, follow us at @SandwichJohnFilms, and follow author Matt Cummings at @mfc90125.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Morbius: The Living Vampire Film In The Works

The Spider spin-offs keep on coming! With Venom now shooting, an even more obscure character from the web-slinger's extensive comicbook past has now been unearthed, with plans for a movie. Power Rangers writing duo Matt Sazama and Burk Sharpless are in talks to craft the script for Morbius: The Living Vampire.

Sony is pushing ahead with another potential Spider-movie, which, like Venom, is unlikely to be linked to the MCU. What it will boast, however, is the story of Michael Morbius, a Nobel Prize-winning biochemist who tries to cure a rare blood disease using an experimental treatment that combines electroshock therapy and vampire bats. The results are predictably catastrophic, and he's transformed into... well, the title should be a clue. He has some of the traditional vampiric qualities – he ingests blood to live, and conversely is not fond of bright light. He can fly, has superhuman strength and healing capabilities. When he bites victims and drinks their blood, his attac…

Enter For A Chance To Win A Family Four Pack To See COCO In Minnesota

© 2017 Disney/Pixar Enter for your chance to win a family four pack to see COCO in Minnesota on November 15th at 7:30PM.

In Disney•Pixar’s “Coco,” aspiring musician Miguel (voice of newcomer Anthony Gonzalez) teams up with charming trickster Hector (voice of Gael García Bernal) on an extraordinary journey through the Land of the Dead.



In theatres November 22!

CLICK HERE TO ENTER-

Website: movies.disney.com/coco
Facebook: /PixarCoco
Twitter: @pixarcoco
Hashtag: #PixarCoco

While supplies last. Once all allotted passes are redeemed, the code will no longer be valid. Supplies are limited.

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Limit one (1) admit-two pass per person. This film is rated PG. Must be 13 years of age or older to win passes. Employees of all promotional partners and their agencies are not eligible. Void where prohibited. Entries must be received by [12:00PM], [11-19-2017] to be eligible to receive pass. Winners will be contacted via e-mail to receive their pass. Sponsors not responsible for…

Enter For A Chance To Win Passes To See DARKEST HOUR In Dallas

Enter For A Chance To Win Passes To See DARKEST HOUR on December 5th at 7:00 PM in Dallas

During the early days of World War II, with the fall of France imminent, Britain faces its darkest hour as the threat of invasion looms. As the seemingly unstoppable Nazi forces advance, and with the Allied army cornered on the beaches of Dunkirk, the fate of Western Europe hangs on the leadership of the newly-appointed British Prime Minister Winston Churchill (Academy Award nominee Gary Oldman). While maneuvering around his political rivals, he must confront the ultimate choice: negotiate with Hitler and save the British people at a terrible cost or rally the nation and fight on against incredible odds. Directed by Joe Wright, DARKEST HOUR is the dramatic and inspiring story of four weeks in 1940 during which Churchill’s courage to lead changed the course of world history.



CLICK HERE TO ENTER-

#DarkestHour
http://www.DarkestHourFilm.com
https://www.facebook.com/darkesthourfilm
https://twitter.c…