Sherlock Holmes (2010 film)
|Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes|
|Directed by||Rachel Lee Goldenberg|
|Screenplay by||Paul Bales
by Arthur Conan Doyle
|Narrated by||David Shackleton|
|Music by||Chris Ridenhour|
|Editing by||Rachel Lee Goldenberg|
|Running time||85 minutes|
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes, also known by the shortened title Sherlock Holmes, is a British-American 2010 direct-to-DVD mystery film directed by Rachel Lee Goldenberg and produced by independent American film studio The Asylum. It is based on the Sherlock Holmes characters created by British author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Torchwood star Gareth David-Lloyd plays Dr. John Watson and Ben Syder (making his film debut) plays Sherlock Holmes. The film is a mockbuster intended to capitalise upon the 2009 film of the same name directed by Guy Ritchie, and is the second film by The Asylum to be inspired by the writings of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. The film was shot in Caernarfon, Wales on a low budget. The Asylum had previously used the same locations to film Merlin and the War of the Dragons.
The film details the "chronicle of his greatest accomplishment" in which famous detective Sherlock Holmes and his companion Dr. Watson investigate a string of unusual monster attacks that defy belief, before stumbling on Spring-Heeled Jack's plot to destroy London and assassinate the Queen. The film has been shown on Syfy in the United Kingdom. The film is also available on iTunes.
The film begins during the Blitz in London in 1940. An elderly and very unwell Dr. John Watson (David Shackleton) tells his nurse the tale of his most complex adventure with Sherlock Holmes (Ben Syder), which he and Holmes vowed never to tell the public or adapt into one of Watson's famous journals.
Several incidents in 1882 lead to the consulting-detective Sherlock Holmes investigating with aid from his companion, Dr. Watson (Gareth David-Lloyd). They investigate a ship carrying gold which was destroyed by a mythical giant octopus on the coast of Newhaven. They do not believe the first-hand accounts of the sole survivor of the attack (Neil Williams), but nonetheless investigate. When investigating the remains of the ship on the coast, Holmes is told by Inspector Lestrade that he has recently had contact with his estranged brother Thorpe.
In Whitechapel, a young man is killed by a small Tyrannosaurus rex. Watson doesn't believe the article about the monster until he and Holmes are on a walk in some woods, and the dinosaur appears and pursues them. Finding escape, they come across several more clues that make Holmes believe the monsters are artificial, built by a criminal genius. On the case, the dinosaur steals a water pump operating a fountain and much copper wire, raising questions as to what the creature's inventor is trying to achieve. The octopus that destroyed the ship earlier is linked to the dinosaur because they are both similarly "exceptionally improbable". Lestrade is also investigating the crimes and stalks Holmes and Watson on their mission to solve the mysteries. On one of their leads, Lestrade ends up missing. Holmes's astounding logic leads himself and Watson to an old castle in Helmsmouth he and his brother visited as children. They come across another monster, a masked mechanical man: Spring-Heeled Jack.
The person under the mask is revealed to be Holmes' brother, Thorpe. Miss Ivory, his accomplice, is with him. Thorpe explains that the crimes were committed to make an armory that would keep him alive from the bullet wedged in his spine. All the tools his monsters stole -- the gold, the water pump, the copper wire -- all contributed to the creation of his cybernetic suit. He plans to destroy London and force Lestrade, who he believes shot him years ago, to claim responsibility. Holmes tries to attack Thorpe, only to be shot and presumably killed by Miss Ivory. Miss Ivory is revealed to be one of Thorpe's robotic creations (and his lover), and Thorpe has placed a bomb in her workings that will detonate when she reaches Buckingham Palace, home of Queen Victoria, while Thorpe pilots his most complex invention yet, a fire-breathing dragon in which he pilots and holds Lestrade hostage. Holmes returns, having survived the gunshot as his tobacco box in his pocket stopped the bullet. Watson is sent to stop Miss Ivory from assassinating the Queen, while Holmes pilots another one of Thorpe's inventions, a hot-air balloon driven by helicopter propellers and armed with guns, in an attempt to stop his brother.
Thorpe sets fire to Parliament and Westminster Abbey in his battle with his brother. Ivory is deactivated by Watson moments before the explosion can take place and Thorpe's dragon is sent crashing in the garden outside the Palace. Thorpe crawls from the wreckage and tries to shoot Watson, before he himself is killed by Sherlock Holmes. Lestrade, as usual, takes credit for solving the case. Holmes and Watson vow never to speak of the events again, because of how it personally affected Holmes and his certainty that the world isn't ready.
In present time, Watson dies and his nurse visits his grave. She sees Miss Ivory visiting the grave of Thorpe Holmes, questioning her thoughts that the story is false.
- Ben Syder as Sherlock Holmes; The famous consulting detective with astounding logic and the ability to deduce wide observations from small details. He is employed to investigate the mysterious destruction of a treasury ship and soon finds himself chasing down Spring-Heeled Jack's mechanical monsters.
- Gareth David-Lloyd as Dr. John Watson; Holmes's personal physician and biographer and a veteran of the Second Afghan War. Watson takes up a more central role than Holmes, as most of the film is shown from Watson's perspective, in a similar vein to Watson's narrative in the classic stories.
- Dominic Keating as Thorpe Holmes/Spring-Heeled Jack; The film's antagonist, a former police inspector and estranged brother of Sherlock Holmes who was wounded in action, having been shot in the spine and paralysed by bank robbers seven years prior to the film's events. He blames Lestrade, and when becoming a scientific genius, uses advanced technologies to build mechanical monsters to terrorize London and attempt an assassination of Queen Victoria. He builds a copper biomechanical suit to overcome his paralysation and dons the identity of Spring-Heeled Jack. Spring-Heeled Jack is the name of a legendary figure in English folklore.
- William Huw as Inspector Lestrade; An infrequent accomplice of Sherlock Holmes who is easily baffled and ignorant, and tends to take credit for Holmes's accomplishments.
- Elizabeth Arends as Anesidora Ivory; Spring-Heeled Jack's assistant.
- David Shackleton as Old Dr. Watson; An elderly Watson who tells his nurse about the case during the German air raids of London in the Second World War.
- Catriona McDonald as Mrs. Hudson; Sherlock Holmes's housekeeper.
- Rachael Evelyn as Miss Lucy Hudson; Old Watson's nurse. She shares the same surname as Holmes's traditional landlady, but whether or not there is a connection between the characters is not made clear.
- Neil Williams as Phineas Stiles; The sole survivor of the giant octopus attack on a treasury ship.
- Dylan Jones as Grolton
- Chris Coxon as John Poole; the first known victim of the dinosaur.
- Katie Thomas as Sally Fassbinder; a prostitute in Whitechapel, also going by the name "Mrs. Pinchcock" who gives her first-hand account of the attack on Poole in the Daily Telegraph.
- Iago Patrick McGuire as Lees; a friend of Holmes's who aids Watson when he abseils down the cliffs.
Sherlock Holmes was met with skepticism immediately upon the announcement of its pending release. The horror film website Dread Central criticized the plot synopsis, which indicated that Holmes would be facing "enormous monsters" attacking London. Their reviewer said: "Sherlock Holmes, monster slayer. Who wants another snooty Sherlock Holmes mystery when you can have him and Dr. Watson make like Buffy and Angel? Maybe they can take it a step further and have Holmes' cocaine habit affect him in much the same way as Popeye's spinach."
Reviews of the film have been favorable. Steve Anderson of Screenhead.com called it "one of The Asylum's better movies", adding: "Many of The Asylum's earlier efforts have proven somewhat, well, unpleasant, but this time around we've actually got something downright entertaining." Fangoria's review said that "Rachel Lee Goldenberg's direction is well-paced, and the action, especially a lengthy climactic sequence, is pretty exciting", concluding: "It's probably the best Asylum film to date, and worthwhile for anyone who is willing to check reality at the door and just enjoy the silly ride."
Jay Seaver of eFilmCritic said that "the film has its good points as a steampunk adventure" and that Goldenberg is "pretty good with the action and pacing", but criticized Ben Syder's Holmes, concluding: "Maybe a better Holmes would have allowed this movie to more squarely hit the mark, as it otherwise does surprisingly well by playing its outlandish premise fairly straight." HorrorTalk.com's review said, "This conveniently timed release of Sherlock Holmes will never be confused with the Hollywood blockbuster, but neither will it disappoint fans of the low-budget adventure."
Home release 
Sherlock Holmes was released on DVD on January 26, 2010, a month after the Guy Ritchie film. The DVD features the full-length film and extras like a making-of feature called Exile on Baker Street: A Behind-the-scenes look at Sherlock Holmes, the official trailer and bloopers from filming. The DVD was given a 12 rating in the UK. Syfy broadcasts the film under the full title Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes and usually cuts out some of the bloodier violence for daytime viewers.
- Prepolec, Charles (October 7, 2009). "DVD: The Asylum's Cash-In Sherlock Holmes Movie". Sherlock Holmes News. Retrieved December 8, 2009.
- The Foywonder (September 21, 2009). "Elementary, My Dear Asylum". Dread Central. Retrieved December 8, 2009.
- Anderson, Steve (January 26, 2010). "Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes Movie Review–Don't Laugh; It's From The Asylum". Retrieved January 26, 2010.
- “SHERLOCK HOLMES” (DVD Review) - fangoria.com
- Movie Review - Sherlock Holmes (2010) - eFilmCritic
- Sherlock Holmes DVD Review - HorrorTalk.com