As 2018 comes to a close, many people are reflecting on their favorite films of the year. From the early days of Black Panther to the holiday box office hits, this year has been ripe with quality content. However, like all years, there have been some stinkers. Unfortunately, it seems Holmes and Watson is the latest movie to fall victim to low ratings.
Not only is the Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly movie under-performing, but it has been given an extremely rare 0% on Rotten Tomatoes. While it’s common for comedies to be scored low, it’s certainly unusual for them to fall to the bottom of the barrel. The movie did manage to scrape a 17% audience score, but that's not exactly news to write home about.
Holmes and Watson is a new comedic take on Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s classic tales of Sherlock Holmes. There has been no shortage of Sherlock content on the big and small screens in recent years. We’ve been graced with Guy Ritchie’s film adaptations starring Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law, the hit BBC series starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman, and the network show Elementary starring Jonny Lee Miller and Lucy Liu. However, it seems Sherlock Holmes just wasn’t ready for the wide world of comedy.
Holmes and Watson is only the third film of 2018 to score the lowest of the low rating. The other movies included Gotti, which starred John Travolta in the titular role. Sadly, this marked the third Travolta movie in history to receive a 0%, the other two being Staying Alive and Look Who’s Talking Now! (somehow Battlefield Earth managed to rise above with a 3%). The other big bomb of the year was London Fields, which had a surprisingly star-studded cast with Amber Heard, Gemma Chan, Theo James, Cara Delevingne, Billy Bob Thornton, Jaimie Alexander, and Jason Isaacs.
Holmes and Watson is the third feature film to star Ferrell and Reilly, who had much better luck with their previous projects. Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby (2006) has a 71% on Rotten Tomatoes, which is pretty impressive for a movie that’s so silly and over-the-top. Step-Brothers (2008) may only have a 55% rating, but it’s still considered a comedy classic by many.
Holmes and Watson came out on Christmas Day and is already topping plenty of “Worst of 2018” lists circulating the Internet. There may be less than a week left in the year, but that’s not stopping critics from tearing the movie apart. Normally, we'd be quick to defend poorly rated comedies since it’s the most subjective genre out there, but it feels like this one is a lost cause.
Hopefully, Ferrell and Reilly will have better luck with one of their next projects. Ferrell is listed to have 14 in the works on IMDB, including a very intriguing untitled film that's set to star him and Jason Momoa. The movie is only in development, but they do sound like they’d make a dream team.
Reilly, on the other hand, has two projects in the works. He’s currently in production for Moonbase 8, a NASA comedy co-starring Fred Armisen and Tim Heidecker.
Ferrell and Rielly are expected to team up again in Border Guards, another comedy from Adam McKay, who directed them together in Talladega Nights and Step-Brothers. The director is currently making some waves this awards season with Vice.
Holmes and Watson was directed by Etan Cohen (writer of Men in Black 3 and Tropic Thunder). The movie also features Ralph Fiennes, Lauren Lapkus, Rebecca Hall, Hugh Laurie, and Kelly MacDonald.
If you’d like to judge Holmes and Watson for yourself, it’s currently playing in theaters.