Monday, July 21, 2003

Young Sherlock Holmes


A Video Review of Young Sherlock Holmes

Copyright 2003 Glenn Walker

Producer Steven Spielberg has always been a fan of the old movie serials. This is evident from his work on Raiders of the Lost Ark. So in 1984 in the aftermath of the phenomenal success of that film he sought to revive the movie serial in modern times. Young Sherlock Holmes was the result of this project.

Unfortunately the logistics of doing a weekly, bi-weekly or even a monthly multi-part serial in theatres playing several films by several different studios and distribution companies proved impossible so Young Sherlock Holmes became simply a feature film. It is interesting to note however it is broken up into nearly precise intervals of cliffhangers - as if it had been broken up like a serial.

It is the charming and actually pretty scary and intense story how Holmes (Nicholas Rowe) and Watson (Alan Cox) met and solved their first case involving an ancient cult and a hidden pyramid. Although lovingly written by Chris Columbus it is full of plotholes but it moves fast like a roller coaster so you don't really notice until afterwards. This may also be in tribute to the old serials but I think that might be giving Mr. Columbus too much benefit of the doubt.

There are a couple of tidbits to look for. With apologies to Barry Levinson the E.T. flying across the moon homage was directed by Spielberg. The stained glass knight was the first fully CGI character and it was animated by Pixar. And wait through the final credits for a surprise.

All in all it's a good film and retains that old movie serial flavor that was its original intent. Check it out.

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