Review by William Baldwin
Ian Mckellen is somewhat unique in today’s film business. He isn’t your typically good looking leading man or supporting actor. But the man has had big film parts in movies such as Apt Pupil, the Lord of the Rings, the Hobbit trilogies, the X-Men films and arguably his best performance in Gods and Monsters directed by Bill Condon. At the tender age of 76 he shows no sign of slowing down. And now he plays Sherlock Holmes.
Sherlock Holmes at the age of 93 lives in a house in the country with his housekeeper Mrs. Munro (Laura Linney) and her son Roger (Milo Parker). Whilst there he gets flashbacks about an important case he was involved in, but the outcome of which he can no longer remember. With his memory deteriorating he has to use his skills as a detective to find out what he did in his own life.
Ian McKellen is of course brilliant, delivering a subtle performance showing Sherlock’s pain, suffering and loss of memory when he is at old age and completely the opposite when he is the younger Holmes in the flashback scenes. Laura Linney is surprisingly good for an American putting on an English country accent. When it comes to the acting, everything is fine.
However, the film is very slow, I wouldn’t mind this if interesting occurrences were happening but this film has surprisingly dull moments from beginning to a relieved end. What I was expecting was a murder mystery type of film, but instead what we get are uninteresting scenes like him staying in a house for most of the film, tending to bees and wasps in the garden etc. Scenes like these were disappointing because they failed to deliver to a standard one would expect from such a stellar building.
Now this film isn’t terrible, as it had a couple of laughs and some good moments but overall audiences will be expecting much more.