brian-mcgee - August 24, 2018
2008's Step Brothers is perhaps the best American comedy of the last ten years. While Judd Apatow was bringing the man-baby archetype to the forefront, Will Ferrell, John C. Reilly, and Adam McKay took the notion of socially and emotionally stunted grown men to its most ridiculous extreme. It's simultaneously a parody of the loose, improvisational man-baby comedy and the finest example of the genre itself.
A reunion of that film's stars in a comedic adaptation of Sherlock Holmes seems, on paper at least, to be a can't miss proposition. This first poster for Holmes and Watson, however, leaves one wondering how such a funny concept could go so horribly wrong...
Ferrell and Reilly are both insanely gifted comedic actors, yet neither of them are immune to appearing in garbage. Reilly less so than Ferrell, who is attached to some of the best and worst comedies made in the last decade. Honestly, Reilly is kind of unimpeachable, which makes this horrendously unfunny poster all the more disappointing.
I think that the issue here is writer/director Etan Cohen. Yes, he co-wrote the scripts for both Idiocracy and Tropic Thunder, and deserves all the credit in the world for his contributions to those brilliant films. His work outside of those two films, however, has been an embarrassment of embarrassments: Madagascar 2, Men in Black 3, and worst of all Get Hard, his woefully unfunny 2015 comedy that paired Ferrell with Kevin Hart.
The missing ingredient here, quite obviously, is a more skilled director. Cohen hasn't directed much of anything outside of that last film mentioned, making him seem more amenable to some of Ferrell's worst tendencies. The rest of the cast for this, however, leads me to believe it won't be a total disaster: Hugh Laurie, Kelly MacDonald, Rebecca Hall, Lauren Lapkus, Rob Brydon, and Ralph Fiennes as Moriarty.
Stay tuned for the first trailer, which has to be on the horizon considering the film is due in theaters on December 21.