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This Review Reveals Minor Details About the Plot.

The Case of the Defeated Detective

Holmes & Watson (2018) on IMDb

Plot Overview

Methodology is importantEngland 1867. Sherlock's mother enrolls him in Egolt Boarding School advising him to make friends and kiss a girl. Being the new kid picked on and alone, he returns with an emotional support animal: an eastern box turtle. Box turtles with­draw into their shells when threatened, and Sherlock unable to face the ragging with­draws into his shell to “lock away all feelings” and become “a thinking machine.” He uses his powers of observation to get all of his class­mates expelled. Every professor then becomes dedicated to teaching the one remaining student who soaks up knowledge like a sponge. He remains friends with the janitor's boy John Watson, and he develops contacts with the authorities as “Police enlist help of boy genius.”

The narrative picks up with Sherlock Holmes (Will Ferrell) and Dr. Watson (John C. Reilly) as adults giving damning testimony (“He's a wanker”) against Moriarty (Ralph Fiennes) who gets exiled to America where he is not expected to live long. The keystone of their 19th century science is the proven deleterious effects of onanism (i.e. mas­tur­bation)—Dr. Watson: “It causes death, you see.” Being advanced for their time they add to this science various unwelcome secondary effects and unintended consequences we've come to expect from our 20th–21st century science. And their lack of any female love interests doesn't help their situation much, either.

American history comes to the rescue. “Over 360,000 young men had died as a result of the Civil War, and there were war widows until they ran out your ears” (Speidel, 107.) For a period of time American women had to fill in at work once reserved for the men who were no longer there. One such woman having broken new ground sent her daughter north to school to learn doctoring. Dr. Grace Hart (Rebecca Hall) and her catty aide Milicent “Millie” (Lauren Lapkus) then came to England where they were to assist a flum­moxed Holmes and Watson with an autopsy. Love chemistry blossomed.

Dr. Hart had not liked making 30¢ for every dollar a male in her profession made, so when she returned to America on a luxury liner, she migrated to Wyoming “The Equality State,” the first place in America to give women the vote—they'd needed the numbers of voting population to qualify for state­hood. While in England, this progressive woman worked on Sherlock Holmes to give his assistant Dr. Watson equal, co-detective status. One of Holmes's clues had him stumped on the meaning of the phrase, “coals to New­castle.” It's a colloquialism meaning to give some­one some­thing he has no need of. New­castle being a region well known for its abundant coal production didn't need it imported. Holmes was so top heavy with deductive reasoning that he didn't need assistance at it, but Watson might have other complementary talents that would prove invaluable.


There's a scientific comparison one can make in H&W with the Sci-Fi movie “The Martian.” In the former the detective has a colony of African killer bees secured in a terrarium. One can look in and see them, but they can't escape out through the glass panes. In the latter the astro-botanist has potatoes growing inside a green­house on mars. There's enough light during the day through the plastic walls to grow them, and the plastic holds in the warm air just fine. Every­thing is copacetic.

To get technical, leading climate researcher Alan Siddons states in a chapter of “A Long List of Misconceptions” that: In reality, green­houses merely suppress convective heating loss, preventing the heated air from dissipating. It is air that's trapped, not radiation; glass's response to infra­red (IR) has nothing to do with it. Clear plastic … will do just as well …—it does not constitute a radiative barrier. (63). And Dr. Claes Johnson in his chapter on “Climate Thermo­dynamics” adds, “observation suggests that the lapse rate/surface temperature is mainly determined by thermo­dynamics and not by radiation” (274). The killer bees in the terrarium represent the thermo­dynamics that controls the climate on earth. There is a single poisonous mosquito resting on the out­side surface of the glass, which will represent the tiny amount radiation exchange contributes to global warming. Holmes swats the skeeter hoping the integrity of the glass will take care of itself. This is what climate alarmists do with their supposed scientific models that focus on radiation's give and take while ignoring all the thermo­dynamics in the system. Artistic­ally represented it fits right in with the outdated science in this movie.

Since this is a buddy picture, let's see how they do. (Sirach 6:1) “Instead of a friend become not an enemy; for [thereby] thou shalt inherit an ill name, shame, and reproach: even so shall a sinner that hath a double tongue.” It wouldn't do for Watson to turn on Holmes or vice versa.

(Sirach 6:7–9) “If thou wouldest get a friend, prove him first and be not hasty to credit him. For some man is a friend for his own occasion, and will not abide in the day of thy trouble. And there is a friend, who being turned to enmity, and strife will discover thy reproach.” Some friends are two-faced, but Watson doesn't seem to be one to leave Holmes in the lurch. That's more than can be said for the house­keeper Mrs. Hudson (Kelly Macdonald.)

(Sirach 6:13–17) “Separate thyself from thine enemies, and take heed of thy friends. A faithful friend is a strong defence: and he that hath found such an one hath found a treasure. Nothing doth counter­­vail a faithful friend, and his excellency is invaluable. A faithful friend is the medicine of life; and they that fear the Lord shall find him. Whoso feareth the Lord shall direct his friend­ship aright: for as he is, so shall his neighbour be also.” Holmes did well in this regard; he separated him­self from his enemies at school by engineering their expulsion, and he found a faithful, valuable friend in Watson.

(Sir. 9:10) “Forsake not an old friend; for the new is not comparable to him: a new friend is as new wine; when it is old, thou shalt drink it with pleasure.” Watson is an old friend to be relied on.

(Prov. 18:24) “A man that hath friends must show himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.” It is necessary, though, that Holmes maintain such a friend­ship, to show him­self friendly. He is close enough to his brother Mycroft (Hugh Laurie) that they can communicate by reading each other's minds, but kissing his girl­friend is an even closer communion.

Production Values

Death of Sherlock Holmes” (2018) was written and directed by Etan Cohen. Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson were characters created by the late Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. It stars Will Ferrell, John C. Reilly, and Ralph Fiennes. The two leads were old hands in a familiar role that was a walk in the park. Fiennes as Moriarty had nothing to do except look menacing. The rest of the cast just had fun being silly. These were not challenging parts.

MPAA rated it PG–13 for crude sexual material, some violence, language and drug references. It had adequate sets and costumes for the setting and period as long as you're not a historical purist. Nobody had a British accent, but at least we weren't subjected to phony ones.

Review Conclusion w/ Christian Recommendation

Science and politics were subtly mixed into this story. An aging British monarch—Queen Victoria—was compared to an exchangeable American president—Abe Lincoln—who though he be great, some won't like him and will pass on that dislike to their children. The progressive female doctor feels passed over by being protected from (male) jury duty about, say, a sea captain on trial for negligence, but she didn't seem to mind the women and children first rule that got her safely to America. At any rate she moved to a solid red state low on crime, high on opportunity.

A predictable cyclical decline in solar ultraviolet (UV) radiation is about to lead to the shrinking of earth's thermo­sphere and consequently to global cooling. When scientists realize they were wrong about global warming, we'll have had this movie to prepare us by watching Holmes's and Watson's reaction to being wrong about the killer bees.

I love movies about science, be it science fiction, good science, bad science, or stupid science. This one was heavy on the latter categories. I'm pretty dense about politics, but even I could pick up on the allusions in this picture. This one was no great literary work but it was fun to watch.

Movie Ratings

Action factor: Well done action scenes. Suitability for Children: Suitable for children 13+ years with guidance. Special effects: Amazing special effects. Video Occasion: Good for a Rainy Day. Suspense: Keeps you on the edge of your seat. Overall movie rating: Three stars out of five.

Works Cited

Scripture is taken from the King James Version. Pub. 1611, rev. 1769. Software, Print.

Apocryphal scripture taken from The Septuagint with Apocrypha: Greek and English. U.S.A.: Hendrick­son Pub. Originally published by Samuel Bagster & Sons, Ltd., London, 1851. Print, WEB.

Ball, Timothy, & Alan Siddons, Claes Johnson et al. Slaying the Sky Dragon: Death of the Green­house Gas Theory. Mount Vernon: Stairway Press, 2011. Print.

Speidel, William C. SONS of the PROFITS, or, There's No Business Like Grow Business! The Seattle Story, 1851–1901. Seattle: Nettle Creek Publishing Co., 1967. Print.