I'm so torn about this film. On the one hand, this is a good film. It has a well-written story, Ian McKellen delivers, the makeup department was fantastic, and the cinematography is excellent. But....there's just something missing. This film lacks resonance. I think the big problem is that it lacks personality. While this may be inevitable because of the age of the character, there was just a sinking feeling in my stomach that this film, when it was not talking about Sherlock's final case 30 years earlier, could've been about any old man trying to be happy in his final years. The film felt very un-Sherlock Holmes-like.
Maybe it's cause I've been spoiled by BBC's Sherlock. Maybe now I subconsciously expect more from a film that has the Sherlock name attached to it. But, when the film ended I just thought to myself, "Huh. Ok then." and moved on. I think a lot of people will agree with me that this film lacks the memorability that other Sherlock movies and TV shows have had in the last 10 years. I mean I already forget most of this film's plot, but I could still talk about the plot to 2009's Sherlock Holmes. And I know BBC's Sherlock TV Series so well I would probably quote it if I watched it again. But here.....not so much.
That said, it's.....fine. As I said it looks nice, and clearly a lot of passion went into making it. (More than can be said for Fantastic Four at least) Ian McKellen is outstanding, and is clearly enjoying himself as he checks off a character he probably wanted to play for years off his bucket list. And again....kudos to the makeup department. There's three or so stories in this film, and all of them take place at various points in Sherlock's life. So the makeup guys had their work cut out for them making McKellen look somewhat young and really really old, and they nailed it. That is the most memorable part of this film. It shouldn't be in a Sherlock Holmes film, but it is. I would still recommend seeing this if you're a fan of Sherlock Holmes, but you won't lose any sleep over waiting to see it when it hits Netflix.
The Critique: While well-made, Mr. Holmes lacks the the punch that you've come to expect from the franchise.
The Recommendation: Still worth seeing if you're a fan of Sherlock Holmes, but you won't miss much if you just wait until this film comes out on Netflix.
Rewatchability: Moderately Low
The Verdict: 7/10 Good