Crafting a funny Sherlock Holmes spoof with Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly should have been elementary. But according to both critics and audiences, Holmes and Watson is a disaster.
The new comedy starring Ferrell as Sherlock Holmes and Reilly as John Watson opened on Christmas Day without a single published review, as it wasn't screened for critics. Soon, it became clear why reviewers were kept away: The film currently holds an abysmal zero percent on Rotten Tomatoes and an average critical score of just 2 out of 10, making it one of the worst reviewed films of 2018.
The AV Club's Ignatiy Vishnevetsky gives the movie an F, writing that it's "89 minutes of inertia and pure, undiluted flopsweat, with a couple of uncharacteristically unfunny and painfully awkward lead performances" from Ferrell and Reilly, for whom this is a low point in their careers. IndieWire's David Ehrlich calls the film "a witless Sherlock Holmes spoof that supplies fewer laughs in its entirety than Step Brothers does in its deleted scenes." And The New York Times' Ben Kenigsberg warns those unfortunate enough to see the film that "smuggling in booze to dispel the sense of dull routine could only help."
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Critics are hardly out of step with general audiences on this, as CinemaScore found that moviegoers gave the film an average score of D+. For comparison, Daddy's Home 2, another Ferrell comedy critics hated, got an A-.
Box office numbers aren't yet in for Holmes and Watson, but based on this reception, the reason for its likely poor performance won't be much of a mystery.
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