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|
|Edited by||Rachel Lee Goldenberg|
|Running time||85 minutes|
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes, also known simply as 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, though it follows an original plot.
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 capitalize 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 first being King of the Lost World. The film was shot primarily 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 [Holmes's] 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 and is also available on iTunes.
The film begins during the German air raids in London in 1940. An elderly 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, but nonetheless investigate. When investigating the remains of the ship on the coast, Holmes is told by Inspector Lestrade (William Huw) that he has recently had contact with Holmes's estranged brother Thorpe, who was paralysed during a bank robbery.
In Whitechapel, a young man is savaged by a small dinosaur. 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 a suit that evade his paralysis 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, whom he believes crippled him, 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, 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, except one occasion where Holmes reveals that his first name is actually Robert, as stated by Thorpe earlier in the film. In present time, Watson dies and his nurse visits his grave, where she sees Ivory visiting the grave of Thorpe Holmes.
- Ben Syder as Sherlock Holmes; The world's first unofficial consulting detective. This was Syder's film debut.
- Gareth David-Lloyd as Dr. John Watson; Holmes's personal physician and biographer and a veteran of the Second Afghan War.
- Dominic Keating as Inspector Thorpe Holmes/Spring-heeled Jack; The film's antagonist, a former police inspector and estranged brother of Sherlock Holmes. 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 Watson
- 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 unclear.
- Neil Williams as Phineas Stiles
- 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.
- Iago Patrick McGuire as Lees
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. Syfy broadcasts the film under the full title Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes.
Sherlock Holmes was met with skepticism immediately upon its announcement. Scott Foy of Dread Central criticized the plot synopsis, which indicated that Holmes would be facing "enormous monsters" attacking London. Foy 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."
In his book Sherlock Holmes On Screen: The Complete Film and TV History, Alan Barnes said that while Keating and David-Lloyd "acquit themselves with a little dignity," he described Ben Syder's Holmes as "punchable" and called the overall film "dismal," "cheap and cheerless," and criticized the "risible final act" in particular. He concluded by saying that "listing the production's many deficiencies would be an entirely pointless excercise."
Steve Anderson of Screenhead.com gave the film a rating of 6 out of 10, calling it "one of The Asylum's better movies", concluding that it's "far fetched" and "utterly mad" but claiming that it has a "spark of entertainment to it." Freddie Young of Fangoria called Sherlock Holmes "probably the best Asylum film to date" but recommended it only to those "willing to check reality at the door and just enjoy the silly ride." Jay Seaver of eFilmCritic called the film "kind of fun" but "disappointing," criticizing Syder's Holmes in particular, concluding that "a better Holmes would have allowed this movie to more squarely hit the mark."
- Prepolec, Charles (October 7, 2009). "DVD: The Asylum's Cash-In Sherlock Holmes Movie". Sherlock Holmes News. Retrieved December 8, 2009.
- Foy, Scott (September 21, 2009). "Elementary, My Dear Asylum". Dread Central. Retrieved December 8, 2009.
- Alan Barnes, Sherlock Holmes On Screen: The Complete Film and TV History, Titan Books, Third Edition, January 31, 2012, ISBN 978-0-85768-776-0, page 251-253
- 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.
- Young, Freddie (March 4, 2010). ""SHERLOCK HOLMES" (DVD Review)". Fangoria. Archived from the original on March 6, 2010. Retrieved December 30, 2013.
- Seaver, Jay (February 12, 2010). "Sherlock Holmes (2010)". eFilmCritic.com. Retrieved December 30, 2013.