This is based on Nicholas Meyer’s novel. The plot centres on Doctor Watson (Robert Duvall) trying to get Sherlock Holmes (Nicol Williamson) treated for his cocaine addiction by Doctor Freud (Alan Arkin).
Duvall’s English accent is bizarre but not as bizarre as the plot. Holmes is paranoid about Moriarity (Laurence Olivier), Mary Watson wears a purple and white lace dress that makes her look like a loo roll cover and Holmes is tricked into going to Vienna.
It starts out humorous albeit with some bad dubbing. Then the duo end up with Freud who cures Holmes of his coke addiction after Watson is provoked into punching Holmes unconscious. Holmes’ detox is interesting with some wild hallucinations.
Then the film takes a detour into inanity as the trio get involved in the case of Lola a showgirl in peril. There are white horses, a train chase, Watson becomes a bit superfluous and the ending is a massive anti-climax. This was okay and it reveals the childhood trauma that made Sherlock Holmes into the man he became.
“It’s not too long a shot to infer that my brother is the cause of your distress.”
“You’re the last person I would have suspected capable of betraying me to my enemies.”
“Elementary my dear Freud.”
“Tell them I was murdered by my mathematics tutor. They’ll never believe you in any case.”
A lifeless, soulless, dull adaptation of the brilliant novel. Tommy, Ruth and Kathy grow up in an odd boarding school and then venture out into the real world to serve their purpose.
There is lip quivering, annoying info dumps, pointless voiceovers and Tommy is such an annoying gormless idiot you can’t see why both Ruth and Kathy want him.
This lacks spark. It’s cold and emotionless but it’s not bleak. It does ‘bleak’ but it isn’t actually bleak.