Posts Tagged ‘Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’

In this Asylum’s rip-off of Sherlock Holmes, Jurassic Park  and Ironman,  Sherlock Holmes is actually trying to solve the mystery of Jack the Ripper.  And he did it. It is dinosaur! Confused? Me too. But let’s start from the beginning, shall we?


The first thing that caught my eye is amateurish shaking cam (and believe me, that is one of rare things that can instantly piss me off). It looks like BBC documentary, with much less of a budget of course. In the opening scene, we see aged Dr Watson watching London in flames from his window. That  made him remember when he saw such scene for the first time, so he calls his young nursemaid and decides to tell her about that story, which she is gonna record. Attention everyone! Old man is talking!

sprinter-sherlh.avi_000353019Kraken on a theater stage.

His story begins in 1882. , on English Channel. Scene is supposed to represent large ship and sea, but thanks to “vision” of director Rachel Goldenberg it is just an ordinary theater stage with fail green screen and blue nylon for a water effect. There is a panic aboard. Pirates? No, guess again. It is some sort of big, black sea monster, that I believe it is meant to be Kraken. And that’s it. I wonder if Holmes is gonna solve the mystery of Kraken? Anyway, scene shifts and now we are in autopsy room where Dr Watson (played by Gareth David-Lloyd) is doing his thing. We notice that he is over 6 feet tall and looks like a butcher. Now Holmes (played by Ben Syder) enters the room. Something is strange about him. His hat? No. I know! He is rather short, despite the fact that Arthur Conan Doyle describes him as “rather over 6 feet tall”. But wait, there is more! He should be calm and focused, right? Maybe, but not in a book Goldenberg had read (perhaps Asylum have their own book version of Holmes; I’ll check it up later). Here, Holmes rushes around and talks like cockney male prostitute.  After a short looking at corpse, he gives gay and incoherent deduction about cause of death. Still, it seems to be enough for Watson, so they depart together in order to visit the sole survivor from the boat and meet there with Inspector Lestrade (played by William Huw).

sprinter-sherlh.avi_000405446There are at least 2 things wrong with this picture…

After hearing sailor’s heartbreaking story about what had happened on the sea, Holmes comes to deduction that lost cargo is nothing but a royal gold, which was on it’s way to Her Majesty treasury. I suppose that legends about sea monsters having a gold in their stomach aren’t so false, aren’t they? Interesting thing is that Holmes is only one to believe sailor’s story, while Watson and Lestrade didn’t miss any opportunity to express their mistrust and opinions about sanity of the poor sob.  And all of that despite the fact that he is the only eyewitness!!! Poor sailor should feel lucky that he didn’t end up in mental institution! Or he would be, at least, if he hadn’t died right after telling his story. And Watson is still yelling at him! Anyway, all three of them are off to the cliffs near Channel border in order to try to reach a shipwreck.  Watson almost died while attempting to get down using a rope, in a scene for which purpose I fail to see.

1060451_10201617259332561_1678171045_nOne of rare superior acting performances in this movie…

Next scenes takes us to Whitechapel brothel. when we can see underage guy “hiring” old, seasoned, washed up prostitute, probably hoping that she is gonna deflower him. Everything is done in complete discretion (they even got code names – John and Miss Pinchcock).  So they go to dark alley in order to conclude the contract. But moment before kid got consuming his merchandise, dinosaur shows up from nowhere and eats him, leaving prostitute in relatively good condition (apart of her age).

No money return!

Ok, now to famous Baker Street. Holmes and Watson, still a bit shaken after events on the cliff, are having a breakfast. They also have had a debate about recent events, when their look gazed upon newspaper headlines about Whitechapel murder. Holmes decides to investigate it, and both of them  find themselves in the surprisingly empty central park for that time of day.  There they find dinosaur footprints… While they are still confused ( I guess not many dinosaurs lives in London), the real dino manifests in front of them. Using his powers of deduction, Holmes decides that is best for them to flee. Surely, it is decision worthy of  the world’s greatest detective.

1060682_10201617259252559_223882196_n-Is it a bird? A plane? -No, Watson. It is a hole in the ground.

Watson meets young and strangely ugly lady, named Anesidora Ivory (played by Elizabeth Arends). Actually, she approached him while he was at his surgery, asking for a  morphium for her uncle who is apparently in constant pains. Watson, obviously charmed by young but ugly lady, complies to her will and wastes no time in taking the opportunity to schedule a date with her in Opera. And all that in presence of her sick uncle (played by Dominic Keating), who is sitting in wheelchairs next to them! Obviously, working with gay Holmes has made Watson a bit desperate.  But, this date isn’t meant to be. Holmes reaches Watson by telephone (10 years before real telephone device was used for the first time), and demands to meet him at Whitechapel pump house. There, he found a clue which proves that dinosaur and Kraken are actually human-made. And what’s the clue? An ordinary scrap of rubber. Surely, it couldn’t have fell off of someone’s boot. Must be the mechanical monster.

1058696_10201617259132556_804346961_nPush your uncle somewhere aside, where he can’t bother us, and then lets get busy!

Inspector Lestrade joins Holmes and Watson, and they all together start investigation in London’s industrial district. First they visit a copper warehouse, followed by visit to rubber factory. There they got attacked by dinosaur, who immolated the proprietor of the factory. After getting his life saved by Watson, Holmes finds something in the proprietor’s pocket. It is a rock (yeah, people tend to carry rocks in their pockets all the time), which is, as Holmes had later explained, common for area around Hellsmouth, the very place where Holmes had spent his childhood. So, that’s their next destination. Next morning, wishing to thank Watson for saving his life, Holmes said incredibly gay line: “You did very good job…last night.”

1057164_10201617259052554_956460236_nGood dino, you wouldn’t scorch old Sherlock Holmes, would you?

After arriving to Hellsmouth, Holmes takes Watson and Lestrade across the walls into some abandoned castle. There, in one of huge chambers, they find static mechanical dino, tentacles of Kraken, and, in the center of the room, steam-punk version of Ironman suit (that looks more like The Tin Man from Wizard of Oz), which clumsy, oversized Watson manages to activate by accident. Suits sends Watson to bite the dust with only one blow and then attacks Holmes. After quite hilarious fighting scene the suits decides to show it’s true face.  It is the face of morphine-addicted uncle, to be more exact.  And his niece Anesidora is also there. What a twist.

Now, the story begins to unwrap. Uncle explains that he controls robots with his brain and with help of “neuro-regeneration” . As you may already have guessed, he needed the gold from shipwreck in order to fund his projects (and some rubber too).  But wait, it’s not that simple. Why he is doing that? Who is he anyway? I’ll tell you. Hold your breath now. The Uncle is no one else but Thorpe Holmes, Sherlock’s (or Robert’s as it has been revealed as a Sherlock’s real name in this scene) brother, who once was a great detective. He became paralyzed after his former partner shot him in the back. And who is his former partner. None other than Inspector Lestrade. Thorpe has become evil and cynical, due to clumsiness of incompetent inspector. His goal: To blow up the Buckingham Palace in the air. But wait, there is more to it! Anesidora is also mechanical and she is programmed to explode after entering the Buckingham Palace. After revealing his plans, Thorpe arms and sends mechanical woman into the train, having her previously  to shoot Holmes (apparently killing him), puts Watson into some sort of death-machine, and then eventually takes the control of the giant mechanical dragon. But, it isn’t everything lost. Sherlock has been saved from the shooting by tobacco tin in his pocket (yet another “original” idea). He saves Dr Watson, and sends him to stop Anesidora, while he manages hot air balloon with helicopter propeller upgrade which he had found nearby. Meanwhile, Anesidora is already near the Buckingham Palace, shooting down 12 years old guards. Watson arrives just in time to stop her, while Sherlock (Robert) and Thorpe are fighting in the air. Of course, after some desperate fight, our heroes win, Lestrade takes the credits for stopping evil Thorpe, old Watson finishes his story and dies afterwards.

1061638_10201617258652544_1585692481_nSteam-punk air fight.

Conclusion: I don’t know where to begin describing what is wrong here. Amateurish camera, casting that couldn’t possibly be worse, awful  acting, incoherent script and dialogues and illogical story with as many holes as this movie’s budget…. Also, bad characterisation of book characters, both physical and mental. Here, Watson is clearly the stronger person than Holmes. Relation and mutual respect between two of them have been completely left out. It is  like they secretly resent each other and both are competitive minded. It seems that no one from Asylum had bothered to read a book about adventures of Sherlock Holmes. Also, there is often a presence of constant drama build-up with zero payoff (like in the scene when Watson climbs down the cliff on the rope and then nothing happens).  But, despite the all above mentioned errors, this is the best goddamn screen adaptation of Sherlock Holmes I have ever watched!!!