Watchable but overlong slice of Holmesiana
F. J. Harvey | Birmingham England | 06/06/2007
(3 out of 5 stars)
"This TV movie -wholly shot in the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg -is not based on a Conan Doyle story but instead is an original screenplay -although it does feature the character of Irene Adler ,"THE woman" in Holmes' eyes .Holmes goes to Vienna at the behest of his brother Mycroft ,to trace and recover a missing detonation device which the British government wish to prevent falling into the wrong hands -that is ,either the Russians or Germans .There he once more meets up with Irene Adler who is performing in Die Fleidermaus at the Vienna Opera House ,and the attraction between the two is rekindled .Holmes is not the only one after the device -there are Russian and German agents as well as a group of Bosnian rebels who seek to use the device to kill the Austrain Emperor ,and thus trigger revolt in their nation .
Also stirred into the mix is Siegmund Freud ,who astes no time in psychoanalysing Holmes and a young US agent ,Eliot Ness ,here depicted as an enthusiastic but bungling neophyte .Things eventually climax in a confrontation at the opera house ,which cannot help but evoke echoes of The Phantom of the Opera .
There are some good things in the movie.Christopher Lee is ideally cast as Holmes ,bringing gravitas and dignity to the role .He is especially touching when acknowledging his fears that age has resulted in a diminution of his powers and his attraction to Adler is well conveyed .The scene where Holmes acknowledges his inability to form relationsships is touching and movingly played .Patrick McNee makes an adequate Watson and the movie is well mounted and adequately acted .
The major problem is length -it simply goes on too long and some judicious trimming ,losing ,say ,30 minutes ,would have made it sharper and more impactful
Worth watching ,if only for Lee's performance
Sorry I bought this one!
P. M Simon | New Mexico | 05/31/2007
(1 out of 5 stars)
"Always looking for a good mystery and anything Sherlockian, I recently ran across the two made-for-UK-TV Christopher Lee as Sherlock Holmes movies. I rather enjoyed the other, "incident at Victoria Falls," but found this one truly egregious in almost every aspect.
Mom said to say nice things first so here goes:
Strong Points: Christopher Lee is a magnificent Holmes, ever bit the equal to Jeremy Brett, and a better actor in general. He looks and lives the role and his facial nuances are fantastic. Alas that it would take more than his fine performance to make the film.
Patrick MacNee is a fine actor but the script makes him into an inconsistent Watson- at times quite competent, at others a bungler.
Plot: The basic plot is alright- centering in a non-canonical tale set in 1910 when an about-to-retire Holmes is badgered by his brother into traveling to Vienna to investigate the theft of a remote bomb detonator. Espionage, the premier of Die Fliedermaus, and an attempt on the Austrian Emperor are woven in.
Unfortunately, at 193 minutes, the film is at least an hour too long and drags accordingly. There are too many historic toss-ins, such as a sub-plot with Freud (horribly played with no resemblance to the real behavior of the historic father of Psychoanalysis). A few other surprises ring false, as do casting Morgan Fairchild as an *American* Irene Adler and ridiculously putting in Engelbert Humperdinck as the leading man in Die Fliedermaus.
And now the real reason not to buy the DVD: Unless you like spaghetti westerns where the lips and soundtrack don't match, you won't want to watch this. Bad sound just ruins the whole thing!
Enjoyable watching for an afternoon!
Bruce Joyner | 09/14/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
First of all this wonderful movie is actually filmed on location...the story ,humour,and finely paced action seems to me to be one of the best mystery films i have seen in a great while .My viewpoint is a bit sharp but i have watched almost every Sherlock Holmes movie that can be purchased on DVD.. VHS ..or seen at the cinema.Christopher Lee,per usual is brilliant add-in John Steed (reference for Avengers fans)as Dr. Watson and you have a great cast...For all the viewers who couldn't sit still...blame yourself..not the movie..with a little patience one day you might even read a "Sherlock Holmes" book.............
all the way through..."