Mr. Holmes – 4 out of 5
Sherlock Holmes is one of literature’s greatest minds and an absolute iconic character. So, what would it be like if Sherlock grew old and his mind was starting to go? Well, that’s exactly what Mr. Holmes is showing and the final result is a pretty endearing tale.
|Have I ever mentioned that I want to hug Sir Ian McKellen? If you don't, then|
I feel sorry for you because that man looks like a great hugger.
Based on the 2005 novel A Slight Trick of the Mind, this feature sees the iconic detective in his golden years, retired from a life of solving crimes and mysteries. However, Sherlock Holmes (Ian McKellen) doesn’t transplant to Florida and spends his days doing normal retirement things like say incredibly racist things to embarrass their family members or catch the early bird dinner specials at whatever buffet is nearby. Instead, Holmes is spending his time tending to his bee hives with his caretaker Mrs. Munro (Laura Linney), mentoring her son Roger (Milo Parker) and trying to recall the details of his final case. However, his age is getting the better of him and his mind isn’t as sharp as it was once so famous for being.
|"Well, let's bee-gin. Ha ha! Still got it."|
The story to Mr. Holmes is simultaneously intriguing and heartbreaking. It’s hard to watch this iconic character in both pop and literature culture that is known for his incredible mind struggle with his memories and his focus but the film does help make this character feel more human than he’s ever been before. While it’s cool to see the slick focus of this man in his prime seeing him falter with still containing glimpses of his greatness really made for a heartbreaking and still heartwarming story. Not to mention, it was pretty amusing to hear Holmes wax antagonistically (but still with merriment) over the legion that Watson created with his embellished stories and it was damn funny to see Holmes see one of his stories adapted and to watch him scoff at what he was watching at the cinema.
|I kinda wish Laura Linney's role was a little larger because it was sometimes|
easy to overlook her.
|At an older age, I still would think Sherlock is sharper|
than me in my prime. Me not smart.
One common thread in the realm of Sherlock Holmes features is the arrogance his brilliance brings him and how that ultimately makes him stand above those around him. Sometimes it makes Holmes look like a straight up butthole and sometimes it offers up amusing moments where the mundane aspects of normal life end up being items of confusion to him and we get hilarious sequences of him attempting to fit in. Being stripped of his fully functioning brain, we get a Holmes that is far more down to earth than I’ve ever seen the character and that means he also has a friendship unlike anything I’ve seen in any adaptation or story. In this feature, it takes on the form of a bond that unlikely forms between Holmes and his housekeeper’s son Roger. The story really delivers an endearing fellowship between the two but the natural chemistry between McKellen and Milo Parker is undeniable and was very adorable to watch.
|Nothing screams "Extra Fancy" like McKellen in a damn top hat.|
On the performance end, I was really, really, really, really (and a whole lot more “really’s”) impressed with Milo Parker. This young man’s performance was incredible and displayed a level of talent that people several decades his senior couldn’t even attempt to replicate. As much as I love Ian McKellen, I actually found Parker’s performance to be the film’s highlight. McKellen is great as the elderly Holmes but there were a few too many moments where his elderly performance came off a little silly and cartoonish to me. He was still very good in his role but, for once, he wasn’t the one outshining everyone else.
|The fact that this kid can keep pace with the likes of McKellen speaks volumes|
about his natural talent.
Mr. Holmes offers up a unique look at an illustrious character and delivers plenty of heart with its story. I don’t really see much replay value in the film because it is that much of a detour from the Sherlock that I know and love but the film was still very engaging and entertaining to watch.