“Mr. Holmes” battles past mediocrity

By Jacob Pierce |@JacobPierce1_DE |Daily Egyptian

“Mr. Holmes,” directed by Bill Condon and starring Ian McKellen and Laura Linney, barely creates a good Sherlock Holmes story out of a non-Sherlock Holmes-like tale.

For all the good ideas, themes and performances “Mr. Holmes” has, the movie comes off as a complete mess. The biggest problem is any scene in Japan.


While all the Japanese scenes follow the film’s theme of fiction and the importance it serves in people’s lives,  the storyline is rarely looked at.

It seems the filmmakers wondered, “Would it be cool if Sherlock Holmes went to Japan?”

McKellen is the best part of this film.

To praise the actor on a fantastic performance at this point might be redundant, but his performance as Holmes was innovative for the character.

McKellen plays the role differently than most these days.  Holmes has become sociopathic with little empathy for anyone. While McKellan shows signs of this, it is all in his past. This Holmes is an old man looking for companionship.

A scene of a broken 93-year-old Holmes on his knees crying sells it to the audience. Linney’s character angrily claims Holmes does not care about her son. McKellen then realizes he does not want to die alone.

On the other hand, Linney’s character fails to reach her full potential. What starts as a strong, single mother soon becomes a nagging stereotype.

Every line she says is telling her son he cannot do something fun with Holmes.

Even when the movie attempts to add motivation behind this, it fails miserably and she reverts back to this unrelenting archetype.

 Stars: 3 out 5

Jacob Pierce can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter @JacobPierce1_DE.