Mr. Holmes—Directed by Bill Condon/ from a novel by Mitch Cullin/Starring Ian McKellen, Laura Linney, Hiroyuki Sanada, Hattie Morahan/rated PG/ 1hr 44 min
Bifocal Reviews by Ageless1der Barbara Rich & The Other Guy
(BR): Yet another layer of the notorious Sherlock Holmes character. In this story, we see Sherlock in his latter years of life, as he endeavors to compile the evidence of his final case. This film ping pongs back and forth between Mr. Holmes’ recollections (which are becoming more and more difficult to recall, as age has started to take its toll on the once sharp mind of the protagonist) and his current living situation. Ian McKellen can do no wrong in my book. He takes every role and becomes the character he is portraying. This film moved too slowly for me, making it seem longer than it really was. I needed more action and, I think the final case that is engaging the character’s every moment, was just not that interesting to me. There was nothing really wrong with the other performances, or the story itself, but as a major motion picture, this falls short. I give Mr. Holmes just two binoculars out of five, even though McKellen on his own deserves five.
(OG): My perception of the film is much different than Barbara’s, and it just goes to show you how different two views of the same movie can be. I found the story extremely interesting, as Mr. Holmes turns his powers of deduction to sorting the evidence of his own forgotten life, while keeping a keen Holmsian-eye on his current affairs. In a way, it is the ONLY Sherlock Holmes case, which could do the elderly and newly forgetful detective justice. He had to unravel the particulars of his own forgotten life while trying to establish relationships in the new, real world. That, in my opinion was a brilliant twist to the character. In addition, I enjoyed Laura Linney’s performance. Also, the young man who inspires Sherlock to follow the evidence of his past while teaching the boy scientific secrets in the present, reminded me greatly of Phillip Alford, Jem in the Gregory Peck version of To Kill A Mockingbird. I’ve always been a Conan Doyle fan. Now I can be a Mitch Cullin fan…while still enjoying one of my favorite characters of all time, Sherlock Holmes. I give this one four binoculars.