Christmas Day coal Holmes & Watson may have risen just slightly above its original 0 percent on Rotten Tomatoes (it’s now at 6 percent, victory!), but the alleged comedy is inciting a pretty strong reaction from some moviegoers: The rare mid-movie storm-out.
The Sherlock Holmes-inspired movie re-teams Step Brothers‘ Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly and wasn’t screened in advance for critics. Some critics went and saw it after it opened anyway, bravely collecting some holiday hazard pay (and thereby contributing to the film’s ultra-low $10 million opening weekend box office take).
First, here are some sample professional slams:
— EW: “If you choose to watch this movie, you’ll be treated to an hour and a half of different versions of the same gag: what if [insert modern thing] somehow existed in Victorian times!? It’s the laziest possible punchline, if you can call it a punchline at all.”
— Newsday: “One of those movies that goes beyond unfunny and into a comedy-cubist zone, where jokes are no longer recognizable and laughter is philosophically impossible … It’s an unexpected low point from two great actors who were pure gold in ‘Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby,’ and at least silver in ‘Step Brothers.’ In ‘Holmes & Watson,’ however, the two seem to have no script or even a premise to work with, and the ideas they throw into the void are either desperately crass or simply incoherent.”
— AV Club: “…might be the worst feature-length film ever made about the ‘consulting detective; from Baker Street. The movie is 89 minutes of inertia and pure, undiluted flopsweat, with a couple of uncharacteristically unfunny and painfully awkward lead performances …One might call it a failure on almost every level—that is, if the movie ever gave the impression that it was trying to succeed. Instead, it’s pervaded by an air of extreme laziness.”
— IndieWire: “… supplies fewer laughs in its entirety than ‘Step Brothers’ does in its deleted scenes… Usually, you’d have to watch the Golden Globes to see this much wasted talent. As it stands, the only compelling mystery about ‘Holmes & Watson’ is how so many funny people have been squeezed into such an unfunny movie, a movie that isn’t nearly smart enough to recognize how stupid it should have been.”
The trashing game is, clearly, afoot.
But wait. You came here for reports of viewers walking out. And you shall have them:
To be fair, there are two critics who are endorsing Holmes & Watson. One is at Vulture, who defends his take like this: “… begins as ineptly as any comedy I’ve seen, and then settles into an agreeably silly groove that had the common hordes around me yukking it up. When it’s bad it is, indeed, painful, but even third-rate Will Ferrell + John C. Reilly is more inspired than the noisy contraptions on either side of it in the multiplex.”