Film Review: Elegy for a Different Superhero in ‘Mr. Holmes’

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Average: 5 (1 vote)

CHICAGO – Sherlock Holmes is the most famous fictional detective in literary history, and his character adaptation into movies, TV and other media shows no sign of slowing down. But what if Holmes were real, and lived as an old man past World War II? This scenario is explored in “Mr. Holmes.”

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 4.0/5.0
Rating: 4.0/5.0

This story is adapted from a novel by Mitch Cullin (“A Slight Trick of the Mind”), one of the many writers over the years that have extended the Holmes legacy of the detective’s creator, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Sherlock Holmes’ power of deduction, reasoning and extensive knowledge has fascinated several generations of readers, movie goers and Benedict Cumberbatch fans (he plays Holmes on the popular BBC-TV modern adaptation). “Mr. Holmes” has all of the joy and mystery of the character, portrayed as a 93-year-old by Sir Ian McKellen. The film ponders end-of-lifetime issues, including morality, self-worth and even loneliness for the detective, and touches upon life’s choices and possible regrets. It’s a beautiful and worthy tribute to a iconic character.

In 1947, the long-retired Sherlock Holmes (McKellen) lives in a remote house in Sussex, with his housekeeper Mrs. Munro (Laura Linney) and her son Roger (Milo Parker). His advanced age of 93 is causing memory issues, as his last case – chronicled in as usual in story form by his companion Dr. John Watson – is starting to bother his consciousness. He tries writing down the actual events, but can’t remember the key elements.

Roger is fascinated by the legendary gentleman, and seeks counsel regarding his deductive powers and beekeeping skills. This distresses his mother, a war widow, and she wants to find other employment. When Holmes falls temporarily ill, the desire to find the truth of the last case becomes accelerated, and involves a flashback to Japan and a Mr. Umezaki (Hiroyuki Sanada), plus the need by Sherlock Holmes to understand what his life has meant.

”Mr. Holmes” opens nationwide on July 17th. See local listings for theaters and show times. Featuring Ian McKellen. Laura Linney, Milo Parker, Hattie Morahan and Hiroyuki Sanada. Screenplay adapted by Jeffery Hatcher, based on a novel by Mitch Cullin. Directed by Bill Condon. Rated “PG

StarContinue reading for Patrick McDonald’s full review of “Mr. Holmes”

Ian McKellen
Sir Ian McKellen at Sherlock’s Address in ‘Mr. Holmes’
Photo credit: Roadside Attractions

StarContinue reading for Patrick McDonald’s full review of “Mr. Holmes”

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