Blithely ignoring the input of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, this lively adventure poses a high-concept question: what would Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson have been like if they had met as children? Set in London of the 1870s, the film begins as young Watson (Cox) enrolls in a new boarding
school. In his dorm he meets the sullen and aristocratic Holmes (Rowe), a brilliant boy who is a bit peeved because he has not quite mastered playing the violin after only three days' practice. The boys soon become friends, and with Holmes' budding powers of deduction they investigate a mysterious
string of murders that leads them into a scrape with the Kali cult (familiar to movie buffs as the evildoers in GUNGA DIN). Although directed by Barry Levinson (RAINMAN, TIN MEN), it doesn't take Sherlock Holmes to see that this film has the fingerprints of its executive producer, Steven
Spielberg, all over it. Whereas the first half of the movie concentrates nicely on the developing friendship between the young Holmes and Watson, the storm of roller-coaster thrills and Industrial Light and Magic special effects soon takes over, blowing the nicely drawn characters away.
Screenwriter Chris Columbus (a Spielberg protege who wrote GREMLINS and THE GOONIES) betrays his boredom with human interaction and instead spends his energies on the numerous effects sequences. Levinson and his young actors, however, struggle to wrest the film back from the clutches of the
effects wizards, and it is their efforts that make YOUNG SHERLOCK HOLMES tolerable.
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- Released: 1985
- Rating: PG-13
- Review: Blithely ignoring the input of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, this lively adventure poses a high-concept question: what would Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson have been like if they had met as children? Set in London of the 1870s, the film begins as young Watson (C… (more)