“Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes” – Film Review

Poster Close Up SACDSHThat’s right, there was another Sherlock Holmes movie that came out around the same time as the Robert Downey Jr. movie and it totally had a dinosaur in it. Didn’t hear about it? I am not at all surprised.

I am a huge fan of terrible movies. These are films that you can’t help but laugh at even though they are not meant to be comedies. The Mister and I spend a lot our time wading through the sea of crappy movies out there giving them the old Mystery Science Theater 3000 treatment. That is to say, we crack wise throughout at the terrible special effects, mediocre writing, atrocious acting and blatant continuity errors, often aided by a glass or two of our favorite adult beverages. (If you aren’t familiar with MST3K but you also enjoy terrible old movies, you MUST find them on youtube. They were shot near my hometown in MN and aired until 1999.)

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes is just such a movie. It falls firmly into both the mockbuster (a low-budget film piggy-backing the publicity of a better-known movie) and Steampunk camps. As a Sherlock Holmes film it pretty much failed miserably, but as a movie centered on futuristic technology in the Victorian era it deserves a mention. It is the debut role for Ben Syder as “Robert” Sherlock Holmes (yes, you read right, apparently his name is really Robert) and also features Torchwoods’ Ianto Jones (Gareth David-Lloyd) as Watson.

sherlock-holmes-and-the-implausible-cgi-monstersThe story begins when a sailing ship is taken out by a Kraken-like tentacled monster. In the next scene, we get to see a dinosaur inexplicably interrupt a rendezvous between a client and a lady of the night. In this adaptation, Sherlock is tortured by the fate that befell his brother Thorpe (yep, they didn’t even bother to get his brother’s name right), who became paralyzed after he was shot while trying to foil a bank robbery several years earlier. After some watered-down deductions, Holmes and Watson (in the least well-fitting waistcoat of all time) find their way to a country estate where they discover the monsters aren’t what they appear, and are under the control of a thoroughly ticked off Thorpe (Dominic Keating), who is bent on revenge against London, the city that forgot him, and his former partner, Inspector Lestrade.

dragon-vs-hot-air-balloon-800x452

The story isn’t great and the effects just aren’t that special, so if you have a low tolerance for shlock I’d skip this one. But, if you want to see a mechanical dragon square off against a hot air balloon/helicopter, you won’t find that anywhere else.


 

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