FRIDAY NIGHT MOVIE REVIEW: “Mr. Holmes” stars Ian McKellen (The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, X-Men: Days of Future Past), Laura Linney (The Truman Show, Mystic River), Milo Parker (Robot Overlords, Ghosthunters on Icy Trails), Hiroyuki Sanada (The Wolverine, 47 Ronin), Hattie Morahan (The Bank Job, The Golden Compass), and Patrick Kennedy (Atonement, War Horse). It is directed by Bill Condon (Dreamgirls, Kinsey) and is written by Mitch Cullin (Tideland) and Jeffrey Hatcher (The Duchess, Stage Beauty). Towards the end of his life, Sherlock Holmes (McKellen) retires back to his old home after a trip to Japan. Wanting to right the wrongs that Watson made in writing a book centered around his last case, Holmes tries to remember the case and write it himself. But his mind is failing him, and it will take determination and clues to help him remember.
Such an odd film to review. Not that the story is weird, but a lot of my thoughts about this movie are jumbled, several opinions and aspects running through my head. I know who Sherlock Holmes is, and the character’s influence on entertainment. I haven’t however seen a picture or read a book with him included. When I saw the trailer for this when it was first being released, I was interested in seeing it. The cinematography looked beautiful and the story seemed soothing. The train resembled something Harry-Potter-like. And I got what I asked for after seeing this release. It’s a nice movie to watch and I’ll explain why. The story, although a winding down one, contains a couple of mysteries that will hold the viewers interest. Since this flick’s plot contains nothing but dialogue, it needed a good mystery, and being Sherlock Holmes, it was necessary. This was also a sad tale, detailing Holmes’s deteriorating mind and how he is trying to write out his last case with much difficulty. The acting was fantastic in this movie, with all characters being filled out well. Ian McKellen played a great Holmes and I felt sorry for him and his condition with his character. I could feel the emotion in all of these figures, which did the film justice. With the cinematography, it was magnificent. The color tones and camera angles suited its story and I enjoyed all of the landscapes. Clothing and the time setting played out beautifully, with the old cars, little shops, and several top hats. The British language also gave it authenticity. Something I found fascinating was how Holmes was talking about his dealings with his fictional side, the one Watson wrote. Seeing the flashbacks were interesting and everything he had to do with his last case tied in with the present time he is struggling with, and to see it all come together is what really made watching this a pleasure. It’s a well-crafted film that is something for a person who wants to feel proper, because that’s how I felt. In terms of cons, I found two. The first would be how it can be slow in some spots, but that is what happens with an all-dialogue movie (if you are wondering why this review is short, it is because of how heavily story-driven this film is. To say anything more would spoil things). The last issue is the Umezaki (Sanada) tie-in. To be honest, that part of the story could have been left out and nothing would have changed. It felt like more of a filler. Overall, this is a lovely piece of film that I’m sure anyone who likes a good story will enjoy. FINAL SCORE: 90%= Juicy Popcorn
Here is the trailer: