Young Sherlock Holmes

"Excellent"

Young Sherlock Holmes Review


Want to see the origins of the Harry Potter movies? Check out Barry Levinson's enchanting Young Sherlock Holmes, believe it or not.

Written by Chris Columbus (who'd later go on to direct the first two Potters), our titular hero (Nicholas Rowe) displays incredible intelligence and wit as he muddles his way through a private, British institution of learning. With his pals -- a goofy kid named Watson (Alan Cox) and a curly-haired girl (Sophie Ward) -- Holmes gets into trouble and finds his way into a giant mystery that threatens the whole world. When he uncovers the villain, it's someone much closer than he'd ever imagined.

There you have it. The exact setup of every Harry Potter story, only with a peculiar character from historical fiction instead of a present-day boy wizard.

It's the Holmes business that probably turns off the film's detractors, but even people with a passing interest in Arthur Conan Doyle's mysteries will enjoy the fanciful origins of Holmes' cap, pipe, and "Elementary!" motto (though of course the movie is all out of Columbus's head, not from Doyle's books). The film conjectures the meeting not only of Watson but of Moriarty, Sherlock's nemesis as well.

Of peripheral interest is a scene in which a delusional Holmes does battle with a knight that emerges from a stained glass window. Today it doesn't look like much, but in 1985 it was the first fully-CGI character ever to appear on film. If nothing else, Young Sherlock Holmes is an important movie for history's sake.

Unfortunately the Big Plot that consumes the latter half of the film doesn't really satisfy -- feeling much like the voodoo shenanigans of Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, which was released a year earlier, only sillier. (Does no one notice all these bald cultists living in 1800s London? Okay, so they were wearing wigs... does no one notice a spike in wig sales in 1800s London?) The movie is narrated by an older Watson, in voice-over, which is terribly dull and preachy. And in the end, the film breaks a cardinal rule by killing a critical character with whom we've become enamored. Boo.

Oh well. Holmes is great fun, quite family friendly despite the PG-13 rating, and definitely worth a better reception than it's received over the years.



Young Sherlock Holmes

Facts and Figures

Run time: 109 mins

In Theaters: Wednesday 4th December 1985

Budget: $18M

Distributed by: Paramount Pictures

Production compaines: Amblin Entertainment, Paramount Pictures

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 4 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 65%
Fresh: 13 Rotten: 7

IMDB: 6.8 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Starring: as Sherlock Holmes, as John Watson, as Elizabeth Hardy, as Professor Rathe, as Mrs. Dribb, as Dudley's Friend, Earl Rhodes as Dudley

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power Movie Review

An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power Movie Review

It's been a decade since Al Gore's wake-up-call documentary won the Oscar. And here he...

The Hitman's Bodyguard Movie Review

The Hitman's Bodyguard Movie Review

It really doesn't matter that this movie is utterly ridiculous, because the central pairing of...

Final Portrait Movie Review

Final Portrait Movie Review

A relaxed, amusing true story about noted Swiss painter and sculptor Alberto Giacometti, this sharply...

Tom of Finland Movie Review

Tom of Finland Movie Review

Finnish artist Tuoko Laaksonen used the name "Tom of Finland" as he drew explicit illustrations...

A Ghost Story Movie Review

A Ghost Story Movie Review

Filmmaker David Lowery reunites the stars from his offbeat Western Ain't Them Bodies Saints for...

Atomic Blonde Movie Review

Atomic Blonde Movie Review

From the co-director of John Wick, this similarly styled action romp puts Charlize Theron front...

Girls Trip Movie Review

Girls Trip Movie Review

This movie's premise basically sounds like The Hangover with added black girl power. But it's...

Advertisement
Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie Movie Review

Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie Movie Review

There's so much manic energy in this animated action comedy that it can't help but...

The Big Sick Movie Review

The Big Sick Movie Review

It may be rather long for a romantic comedy, but this film has such a...

The Emoji Movie Movie Review

The Emoji Movie Movie Review

There's no reason why this animated comedy adventure needed to be this pointless. Solidly entertaining...

England Is Mine Movie Review

England Is Mine Movie Review

While this is billed as a film about The Smiths' singer-songwriter Morrissey, it's actually an...

Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets Movie Review

Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets Movie Review

It's been 20 years since French filmmaker Luc Besson shook up the sci-fi genre with...

Dunkirk Movie Review

Dunkirk Movie Review

Britain's epic 1940 evacuation of Dunkirk has been dramatised on film before, but no one...

Killing Ground Movie Review

Killing Ground Movie Review

From Australia, this dark and edgy thriller is skilfully made by writer-director Damien Power to...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.