There are hundreds of movies, books, tv shows and spin offs based on Sir Conan Doyle's greatest creation. The master detective Mr Sherlock Holmes. From Basil The Great Mouse Detective, to Stephen Moffat's Sherlock, the Young Sherlock Holmes and beyond. Not many people have actually ventured into what happens to Holmes after he retires. It's mentioned a few times that he would keep bees, keeping in touch with the police and helping out on cases. Only Laurie King and her books series has taken a serious touch into those days of recent years. I was extremely excited to see what this movie could bring to the mix. With Sir Ian McKellen at the helm, it was clear to see we would have an amazing Holmes.
The storyline is based around Holmes's last case, one that he failed in miserably. One that disgraced him to the point he ran away from being a detective, moving into the middle of nowhere to keep bees, to just fade away into nothingness. Not even reading his mail, or his requests to be the detective anymore. Letting his housekeeper burn them, uninterested. In his final years, his memory failing him more every day Holmes takes it on himself to find anything he can to try to piece together those final years. To solve the one case that destroyed him. A case that he can barely remember, and a woman, Ann Kelmot that haunts his mind. Working with Roger, his housekeeper's son to see what they can find to solve that case.
Roger helps Holmes find articles from the case to trigger his memories, as he sits trying to write-up the case. One last story to correct all the mistakes that Dr Watson had made romancing his cases over the years. You even see Holmes in a cinema watching an early movie about himself finding it amusing. You see the past cut into the present as he finds missing fractured memories of what happened long ago.
I had really high hopes for this movie, Sir Ian McKellen was a wonderful Holmes just as I expected. Young Milo Parker held his own against him very well. It just didn't feel like a Sherlock Holmes story what as ever. It was more about an old man losing his mind to dementia trying to keep himself afloat and survive. He played the role perfectly, you could feel just how much pain the character was in. How terrified of losing what was left of his mind before he could finish the story. Before he could find out what he had done that was so horrible it haunted him still. To me it could have been any man with dementia, not just Holmes. You could have changed the name and rebranded it as anyone else. It does far more for people suffering with age related memory loss then it does for the Holmes franchise. I was greatly disappointed, I had hoped for so much more.