Movie Review: Young Sherlock Holmes (1985)

Synopsis: Sherlock Holmes, a brilliant student with exceptional deductive reasoning is expelled from London's Brompton Academy after falsely being accused of cheating on an exam. Before he can go home in shame, his mentor, Rupert Waxflatter, dies under mysterious circumstances and, believing Waxflatter and others were murdered, Holmes stays behind in an effort to find the killer with help from his new friend, John Watson and Waxflatter's niece, Elizabeth Hardy.

Who's in it? The movie stars Nicholas Rowe, Alan Cox, Sophie Ward, Anthony Higgins and Nigel Stock.

Review: I came across this film on one of my movie channels a couple weeks ago and, since it had been a long time since I watched it, decided to add it to my library.

As I began watching this film, which used to be one of my favorites when I was younger, I realized I didn't remember a single thing about it. On one hand, this was kind of a good thing because it meant it was like I was watching the movie for the first time (with the occasional familiar part) but, on the other hand, I realized the movie wasn't anywhere near as good as I remembered it being.

I think the best way to describe this movie is to imagine the film Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom if it were to take place in London instead of India and had Sherlock Holmes in the title. Oh, perhaps with Tim Burton directing the parts involving hallucinations (I had to actually check to make sure that wasn't actually the case).

To be fair, the movie did have a halfway decent mystery. I don't think it is too difficult to figure out who the bad guy is but that person's motives weren't as clear, especially since there didn't seem to be much of a connection between the victims. There were also some entertaining action scenes though, again, they reminded me a bit too much of Indiana Jones.

My biggest complaint about the movie is what I like to describe as 1980s fluff. Holmes (Rowe), for example, didn't just have a mentor, he had a mentor who was trying to build a flying machine (that, of course, comes into play later in the movie). I feel like some of those softer scenes, which were obviously included for comedic effect, hurt the film more than they helped it. In fact, it was hard to tell if the movie was supposed to be a comedy or if the jokes were thrown in because someone thought it was too serious.

Final Opinion: I didn't hate watching the movie but it definitely wasn't as good as I remembered. However, if you haven't seen it, I'd still say give it a try.

My Grade: B-


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