Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly are learning the hard way that it's no small task to adapt Sherlock Holmes. Their new comedy "Holmes & Watson," which hit theaters on Tuesday, currently holds a 0 percent "fresh" rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
Ferrell plays Sherlock Holmes and Reilly plays Dr. Watson. The cast also includes Rebecca Hall, Ralph Fiennes, Rob Brydon and Kelly Macdonald. The Hollywood Reporter points out that the parody was not screened in advance for critics — usually a sign of low hopes for positive reviews. Rotten Tomatoes currently has 18 reviews of the film on its site.
The reviews, unsurprisingly, are scathing. David Ehrlich of IndieWire wrote, "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."
Ignaty Vishnevetsky of A.V. Club said the comedy "might be the worst feature-length film ever made about the 'consulting detective' from Baker Street."
Ben Kenigsberg of the New York Times writes, "More laughs are all that would have been necessary to prevent the stagnation of 'Holmes & Watson'; as the movie stands, smuggling in booze to dispel the sense of dull routine could only help." However, Kenigsberg allows that director Etan Cohen's film "Get Hard," which also starred Ferrell, was "much worse."
But "Holmes & Watson" is not alone in its dishonor. THR says that both "London Fields," starring Amber Heard, and "Gotti," starring John Travolta, nabbed 0 percent ratings in 2018.