Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Young Sherlock Holmes|
Actors: Nicholas Rowe, Alan Cox, Sophie Ward, Anthony Higgins, Susan Fleetwood
Genres: Action & Adventure, Mystery & Suspense
VICTORIAN LONDON SCHOOLBOYS HOLMES AND WATSON FORM THEIR HABITS IN PURSUIT OF A DEADLY PAGAN CULT.
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Reviewed on 2/19/2014...
Possible SPOILERS below.
For true Holmes fans, this is a waste of time. If you don't know much about Sherlock Holmes, you might find it enjoyable in a "TV movie" sort of way. It's in no way exceptional.
The lead actor, while a good physical match for a young Holmes, is fairly wooden in his delivery of lines, and has none of the charisma that one would expect from the legendary character. "Watson" is a decent enough actor, but the role he was given in this film is laughable and has more to do with Nigel Bruce Watson's befuddled incompetence than with canon. You will be left wondering how such a timid and seemingly useless young man could ever find the courage to tag along after Sherlock on the wild adventures they get up to.
Another issue I had with it was the shoehorning in of an airheaded female love-interest/damsel-in-distress for Holmes, which, again, has nothing whatever to do with canon. It would have been more appropriate to have the girl be Watson's companion, but this particular Watson has absolutely no qualities to recommend him to her, naturally, despite being a bit of ladies' man in the original stories.
Character-development is ignored in favour of extended action sequences, which is so very disappointing, as this film had all the potential and the budget to be a beautiful character portrait of the young duo as they get to know each other and begin developing into the men they will be (I was fine with the timeline change, in theory, as it's a nice idea to have them meet as teenagers). Sadly, conscientiousness and precision are not prerequisites for making movies, as this film so clearly demonstrates. Even Holmes's big deduction sequence lacks power, as it is so poorly written, and I was truly let down by the lack of Mycroft, after his presence was hinted at. It would have been wonderful to see Sherlock relating to his older brother at that age.
It had its enjoyable moments, in the architectural beauty of the lads' school, the presence of a da Vinci flying machine, a scene with Holmes scraping away at his violin in the dorms, an eerie and charmingly surreal sequence in a cemetery, and a tantalising final scene after the credits. These weren't enough, however, to salvage this wreck of a film from its miserably useless writing.
This might as well be called Sherlock Holmes and The Temple of Doom, except that that would insult the names of two very good, if very different, characters. I think I will have to venture elsewhere on the internet to find an 'alternate universe' tale that could fulfil the promise that this one made to me and then reneged on.
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