Most of us have chortled away at a Will Ferrell film, after all he’s definitely a very funny guy.
With his glittering run of blockbuster hits including seasonal favourite Elf and hilarious Step Brothers, it’s hard to imagine him ever putting a foot wrong.
Yet throw in a duff script, coupled with dated/unfunny gags and it’s enough to get even one of Hollywood’s most bankable stars off balance.
The widely-panned Holmes & Watson was released in 2018 to much scorn, and is now currently streaming on Netflix – where it’s been met with further derision.
The Sony film purported to be a humorous take on the classic mysteries of Detective Sherlock Holmes (Ferrell) and sidekick Dr Watson ( John C. Reilly ).
But sadly the only mystery was how the film ever got made in the first place and the only humour was … well, maybe that’s the mystery.
Movie and TV review website Rotten Tomatoes ranks Holmes & Watson last in its list of Will Ferrell films, with a meagre 10 per cent.
This puts it way behind the likes of the big-hitting Lego Movie, Christmas classic Elf, NASCAR-inspired Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby, ice-skating laughter-fest Blades of Glory, American-news send-up Anchorman and the hilariously over- the-top Step Brothers.
Of course, most actors have the odd misfire, even the normally unshakeable Tom Cruise did The Mummy.
‘Kicks up a stink wherever it goes’
But there’s just something about Holmes & Watson that kicks up a real stink wherever it goes, from cinema to home-streaming.
Underperforming at the Box Office, grossing $41.9 million on a $42.2 million budget, the film was panned by critics who said it squandered its talented cast and stellar source material.
Some film reviewers labelled it the worst film of 2018.
The press reported numerous instances of people walking out early during screenings, and the movie went on to receive six nominations at the 39th Golden Raspberry Awards, and won four, including for the Worst Picture.
Entertainment website Deadline Hollywood reported that test scores for Holmes & Watson were so low that Sony, sensing a weak box-office reception, unsuccessfully attempted to sell its distribution rights to Netflix.
However, the streaming giant picked up the film at the end of 2020, removed it in May 2021, and now it’s back streaming again.
Since then, fans have been swamping movie review websites such as iMDB and Rotten Tomatoes, either to lambast it or to leap to its defence.
What viewers have to say about it
Planktonrules gave it a paltry 1/10 on iMDB, posting: “The bottom line is that even funny folks need a competent script. Unfunny, mean-spirited and stupid … that’s Holmes & Watson. Rarely has a film cost this much and delivered so little”.
Boblipton also gave it 1/10, saying: “This movie is as bad as its awful reputation … It is sloppily written, and nothing about it gives any impression that anyone behind the camera put more than minimal thought into the movie. There are shots that are out of focus.
“There are also urine jokes, sexual assault jokes, and other examples of juvenile humour … I’ve wasted an hour and a half watching this piece of garbage and another ten minutes writing this. That’s more than enough”.
JoBloTheMovieCritic concurred with the 1/10 rating, saying “as inexplicably awful as everyone else foretold – an embarrassment to the entire institution of filmmaking”.
Finally, Daniellawsonrt gave it another 1/10: “This film is a mess from start to finish, if you’re expecting to see another Step Brothers or Talladega Nights, you will be sorely disappointed”.
However, some reviewers were more charitable, with Deloudelouvain awarding it a sizeable 7/10:
“I’m glad I didn’t pay too much attention to the extremely bad reviews and the incredible low score Holmes & Watson got on IMDb,” went the review.
“And I’m also glad I’m not the only one that had a good time watching this movie. I just can’t help it but when I see Will Ferrell’s face I already have to laugh. I laugh with all his movies so I wasn’t surprised I did like this movie much more than I’m supposed to when you concider the low ratings. Will Ferrell played Holmes in his typical way, a bit clumsy and dumb but always funny to watch. John C. Reilly was just perfect as Watson, even better than Will Ferrell in my opinion. Holmes & Watson is just another good comedy if you like Will Ferrell’s style of humor. If not, too bad.“
Elsewhere, cyorke-34660 gave it a whopping 9/10, stating: “Honestly I was so unsure of this movie at first due to the terrible reviews, but personally I actually loved it. If you’re looking for a laugh and nothing too serious or complicated then watch this, it’s just a film to make you smile and should be appreciated for doing this. Definitely will watch again.”