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

Trumbo Movie Review

Trumbo Movie Review

An entertaining film about sobering true events, this is the story of notorious screenwriter Dalton...

Goosebumps Movie Review

Goosebumps Movie Review

Mixing the action, comedy and horror from novelist R.L. Stein's books into a family-friendly package,...

Dad's Army Movie Review

Dad's Army Movie Review

The beloved 1970s British sit-com gets the big screen treatment, although there's been very little...

Spotlight Movie Review

Spotlight Movie Review

This film demonstrates that you don't need guns to make an exciting thriller. Based on...

13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi Movie Review

13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi Movie Review

Not the subtlest director working in Hollywood, Michael Bay brings his surging machismo to this...

Dirty Grandpa Movie Review

Dirty Grandpa Movie Review

There's nothing clever about this deliberately rude and vulgar comedy, but certain audiences will find...

The Big Short Movie Review

The Big Short Movie Review

Smart and snappy, this comedy is one of the scariest films of the year, using...

Advertisement
The 5th Wave Movie Review

The 5th Wave Movie Review

Also based on the first in a trilogy of post-apocalyptic teen novels, this thriller feels...

Ride Along 2 Movie Review

Ride Along 2 Movie Review

Ice Cube and Kevin Hart reteam for a sequel no one really asked for, following...

Room Movie Review

Room Movie Review

One of the most extraordinary films of the year, this drama cleverly weaves in events...

Creed Movie Review

Creed Movie Review

While this film is basically Rocky VII, it's also much more than that, and perhaps...

A Perfect Day Movie Review

A Perfect Day Movie Review

An irreverent comedy in the style of the original M.A.S.H., this wartime romp takes an...

Partisan Movie Review

Partisan Movie Review

With his feature debut, young Australian filmmaker Ariel Kleiman tells a creepy story about a...

The Revenant Movie Review

The Revenant Movie Review

A wrenching saga of survival and revenge, Alejandro G. Inarritu's new epic is just as...

The Hateful Eight Movie Review

The Hateful Eight Movie Review

Quentin Tarantino is a filmmaker who simply can't be ignored, especially when he lobs a...

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.