Monday, December 24, 2012

Mockbusted #3: Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes

The Asylum's Sherlock Holmes, released just on the heels of the first Guy Richie film starring Robert Downey Jr., is the first Asylum movie I'd ever seen, and the one that cemented my love for both the company and the mockbuster genre. It is one of the most insane straight to DVD releases I have ever seen and completely elementary, in that it is all the kind of shit I would have written into a movie in Elementary school: Dinosaurs, Dragons, Giant Octopi, and Iron Man. Yes, even Iron Man, and Steam Punk Iron Man at that, combining two Downey franchises into one glorious mess of awesome the likes of which ye have never seen.

The mystery, such as it is, involves Holmes and Watson investigating a series of unexplainable attacks reported to be by monsters, the first being a Kraken that attacks a ship at sea. A few days later, a miniature Tyrannosaurus Rex kills a cockney prostitute, leading our duo to a tussle with a cybernetic super villain, and ultimately an epic chase between a hot air balloon/helicopter and a giant mechanical fire breathing dragon. I know it sounds like I'm spoiling this movie, and I'll be talking about more of it throughout this review, but I don't think there's anything I can say at this point to ruin it for you. If there's any possibility that you're not ready to see this movie regardless of what I say, you are as insane as this movie is, in which case you really need to see this movie.

"Somehow, I always knew it would end like this."

There are flaws, but they are all more than outweighed by the beautiful madness of the whole thing. The biggest problem I would say is the casting, not because any of the actors are necessarily bad, just miscast. I actually thought the actor playing Watson would have made a much better Holmes, the actor playing Holmes would have made a much better villain, a meek character made strong through technology, and the guy who plays the villain would have made a much better Watson. Also, the villain is meant to be Holmes' brother, an evil madman seeking revenge against the British intelligentsia that spurned him, completely ignoring the fact that the literary Holmes actually has a brother, who isn't cybernetic in the least. It wouldn't be so bad and would be perfectly in keeping with the inspired craziness, but the relation is so unnecessary to the plot, and presents a missed opportunity to introduce the real Mycroft, possibly as a magical wizard or a time traveler, and to give the bad guy some genuine character development beyond envy and revenge.

Still, when the villainous Thorpe in his old timey Iron Man suit boards his giant fire breathing dragon machine, while his clockwork robot lover marches towards Buckingham palace with a ticking time bomb in her chest, incidental complaints about the narrative or its fealty to the source material seem redundant. Yes, like The Raven, I would have preferred a mystery with a few more clues to give me the chance to actually solve it, but unlike The Raven, The Asylum's Sherlock Holmes fully embraces the ludicrous excesses of its premise and builds to an exciting climax that is everything you could possibly want in a movie like this, if there even is another movie like this. Just go see it. Go to a video store and buy it, or look it up on an on demand service that hosts it.

Sherlock Holmes: Flying A Hot Air Balloon Like A Motherfucking Pimp.

Do it now!


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