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      Sherlock Holmes: Case of Evil

      R 2002 1h 36m Mystery & Thriller List
      Reviews 38% Audience Score 500+ Ratings In 1886, Sherlock Holmes (James D'Arcy) helps actress Rebecca Doyle (Gabrielle Anwar) get rid of blackmailer Professor Moriarty (Vincent D'Onofrio), chasing the criminal to his apparent death. Holmes' success makes headlines, and he is hired by a drug dealer, Ben Harrington (Struan Rodger), to find the serial killer who's murdering other drug pushers. While examining the bodies with coroner Dr. Watson (Roger Morlidge), Holmes suspects that Moriarty is alive and behind the killings. Read More Read Less Watch on Prime Video Stream Now

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      Sherlock Holmes: Case of Evil

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      Critics Reviews

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      John Leonard New York Magazine/Vulture I am much happier with D'Onofrio as a campy criminal mastermind than I am with him as the supercop on Law & Order: Criminal Intent. Jan 31, 2018 Full Review Read all reviews

      Audience Reviews

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      Audience Member Not a big fan of this one... Too much brain matter. Rated 2 out of 5 stars 02/10/23 Full Review Audience Member Some truly terrible acting from all involved make this a real chore to watch, especially if you're more familiar with the excellent Jeremy Brett or the recent Downey Jnr versions. James D'Arcy is pretty appaling as Holmes (even Young Sherlock Holmes was better) but is not the worst thing here. Instead we have a camp Dr Watson and Anwar copying Heather Graham's performance from 'From Hell' and being even worse! D'Onofrio is usually quite reliable but he looks out of sorts here and can't really cope with the accent. It looks quite good (the sets are convincing) but there is a weird electronic score and there is a strong whiff of 'cheap' about the whole thing. The best thing is Richard E. Grant as Mycroft. His all too brief scene makes you wish that he'd played Holmes instead! Rated 1.5 out of 5 stars 02/09/23 Full Review Audience Member I found some things interesting in this reinterpretation of Holmes, but D'Onofrio was unintentionally funny as Professor Moriarty. Overall it just didn't hold together. Rated 1.5 out of 5 stars 02/16/23 Full Review Audience Member As long as you can get past the fact that it's not, well, Doyle's Sherlock, then you might be able to enjoy it. Purist's will be reeling though. And as much as I like D'Onofrio, his accent seemed a bit off. But hey, other than those pesky things - I really liked it. As a Doyle fan, I had to be able to separate the Sherlock name. Since I saw all the angry posts about that before the movie - I was well prepared and knew what I had to do. :-) Rated 4 out of 5 stars 01/16/23 Full Review Audience Member I just saw this film in a cropped TV version (reduced to a 4/3 format from its original 1:78/1) and I must say I spent a rather enjoyable evening, perhaps because I had been warned against its major flaws. "Sherlock: Case of Evil" is an apocryphal and "revisionist" Sherlock Holmes story which purports to relate some of the great detective's early cases and an alternate version of his meeting with Dr. Watson, who is here portrayed as a mortician (the meeting is indeed so different from what Conan Doyle established that I expected this Dr. Watson, whose Christian name is never mentioned, ultimately to turn out to be another Watson.) The Sherlock Holmes we are shown is not yet a celebrity, though he learns to make use of the newspapers to publicise his exploits. He is already a brilliant "deductionist", but is constantly one step behind his nemesis Moriarty. Quite unlike the mature Holmes of the Doyle stories, he is also a ladies' man, "bedding" no less than four of them in the ninety minutes of the film, including two at once (that all of them were unchaperoned makes me suspect that the screenwriter got the Victorian era slightly mixed up with the swinging sixties.) He is also a hard drinker who, once drunk, will go to a brothel to seek inspiration in glasses of absinth; and a chain smoker, a habit Watson already knew to be bad for your health. If you are willing to accept all these changes to the canon, you should be able to enjoy this TV movie. My two disappointments were with the exterior sets, which mostly looked to be generic studio streets, and Vincent d'Onofrio as Professor Moriarty. I know the title "Professor" is probably purely honorary, but d'Onofrio was a little too beefy and unsophisticated for my tastes. His fondness for one-liners made him look like a villain for some half-serious superhero movie, and he dressed like a crooked businessman from a Dickens adaptation. The film is also very predictable: I basically knew who had done what, who was in it and who wasn't, who hadn't died and who would die, within the first fifteen minutes. I guess this is because much in the film is recycled from earlier Holmes stories, canonical or not. (If you are on the lookout for cliches, the film also suffers from the Climbing Villain Syndrome.) The strong points of the film are the performances. James d'Arcy as Sherlock, I thought, was quite good (if you like BBC adaptations of British classics, you may have seen him in the title role of the 2001 "Nicholas Nickleby", in the latest "Mansfield Park" or as Blifil in "The History of Tom Jones, a Foundling".) Roger Morlidge as Watson and Nicholas Gecks as Lestrade were also both excellent, all the more so as they were treated as full-fledged, competent individuals, rather than as foils for Holmes' brilliant intellect. And perhaps best of all, though present in only one short scene, was Richard Grant as Mycroft (he was to return to the Sherlock mythos that same year with the rather good adaptation of "The Hound of the Baskervilles", starring Richard Roxburgh as Holmes.) Remembering him mostly from over-the-top comedies, I was surprised to discover that he had such dramatic talent. Once again, this film is nothing revolutionary. But I've seen worse Sherlock Holmes movies, and as I can't stand Jeremy Brett's antics, I'm always happy to discover one I can watch. Rated 2.5 out of 5 stars 02/20/23 Full Review Audience Member Unquestionably, Sherlock Holmes qualifies as one of the most popular characters in English literature as well as the media. Hundreds of films and television shows have been made about him. Some are serious, while others are frivolous. Movies and television shows about Sherlock Holmes can be classified by their treatment of Holmes' companion Dr. Watson as well as the depiction of London Police Inspector Lestrade. Of course, the classic Sherlock Holmes is Basil Rathbone with Nigel Bruce as his bumbling sidekick Dr. Watson in the period 20th Century Fox and later contemporary Universal Pictures movies. Jeremy Brett has acquired a fan base for his impersonation of Holmes and the television shows that feature him adhere most closely to his literary counterpart than any others. Several actors have played the role. Leslie Howard's son Ronald Howard played Holmes rather conscientiously in the 1950 TV series and donned the deerstalker. All too often Holmes has been identified with the deerstalker because it looks so singular along with his curved pipe. Howard's Watson wasn't as cretinous as Bruce's Watson. In the late 1960s, Robert Stephens made an interesting Sherlock Holmes in Billy Wilder's "The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes." Roger Moore essayed the role in "Sherlock Holmes in New York" in the 1970s. "Dracula" star Christopher Lee has incarnated the Arthur Conan Doyle's celebrated amateur sleuth in both films and television in the 1960s and 1970s. Steven Spielberg produced "Young Sherlock Holmes" that had Holmes meeting Watson in a boarding school when they were youths. Evil" is an interesting spin on the early life of the eponymous character. The story occurs about the same time as "A Study in Scarlet." Holmes has just tangled with the nefarious Dr. Moriarty (Vincent D'Onofrio of "Full Metal Jacket") and they fight each other in the deserted backstreets of London at night with cane swords. Eventually, Moriarty whips out a revolver and Holmes blows him away with a single shot that sends the villain pitching backwards involuntarily into the sewer system so that his body cannot be recovered. Holmes makes the mistake of informing the London newspapers that he has vanquished his deadly foe. Holmes had been working for a society dame, Rebecca Doyle (Gabrielle Anwar of "Body Snatchers") who Moriarty had tried to blackmail for 10-thousand pounds. At this point, Holmes is a younger chap than he has been played in the past. He has not met Watson yet, but he has horrid memories of the dastardly deeds that Moriarty did to his older brother Mycroft (Richard E. Grant) in giving him injections of some unknown narcotic. Holmes smokes cigarettes, drinks liquor, and occasionally goes to bed with a woman. He lives at 221 Baker Street, but he doesn't have a league of urchins running messages for him. He informs London Inspector Lestrade (Nicholas Gecks) about the death of Moriarty, but Lestrade isn't impressed with the news or Holmes. Meanwhile, a serial killer has been knocking off opium merchants methodically and Holmes refers to the killer as a sieral killer. An opium merchant hires Holmes and slips him a document signed by a local judge that authorizes Holmes to attend the latest autopsy of a murdered opium merchant. Lestrade objects initially until he sees the document, but the coroner is not impressed. The coroner is Dr. John H. Watson. Holmes and Watson (Roger Morlidge) grow fond of each other because they have keen scientific minds and speak the same language. This Watson is no fool and something of an inventor. He builds Holmes a single shot walking stick. Eventually, Moriarty reappears. Of course, Moriarty is behind the murders. He is trying to corner the market on a new drug that has not been outlawed yet: morphine. Holmes discovers that the young blackmail victim was hired by Moriarty so that he could dupe Holmes into believing that he had killed him. Holmes suffers in humiliation when he realizes that Moriarty has made a fool of him. Moriarty decides to eliminate Holmes and he abducts the sleuth, pumps him repeatedly full of morphine. Clearly, the producers are suggesting that Holmes came to use needles because Moriarty turned him into an addict. Holmes manages to escape. Moriarty kidnaps the woman that he hired to fool Holmes. Holmes had been protecting the woman from Moriarty and they became romantically involved until Moriarty grabs her and murders her in cold blood. Holmes and Moriarity duel again, this time in Big Ben, and Holmes sends Moriarty plunging from the shattered clock bace into the Thames. This R-rated for drug use adventure concludes with Watson becoming Holmes casebook correspondent. One of Holmes' relatives sends him a deerstalker and Watson, who has been reprimanding Holmes for smoking cigarettes, gives him a curved pipe. The crisply made, period adventure concludes with a bandaged Holmes posing in profile with the curved pipe and deerstalker for Watson who shoots a photograph of his newest friend. The pace is quick and Holmes and Watson even get into a brawl at a pub with several assailants and smash their way to safety with their fist. James D'Arcy of "Master and Commander" makes a bland but acceptable Holmes, while D'Onofrio is exceptional as the wicked Moriarty. There is one nude scene when a woman strips for Holmes in his Baker Street apartment. Holmes doesn't have an interfering land lady. Watson isn't a clown. Indeed, "Cadfael" director Graham Theakston has taken some liberties with the famous character, but "Sherlock: Case of Evil" benefits from top-notch production values. Rated 3.5 out of 5 stars 02/15/23 Full Review Read all reviews
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      Synopsis In 1886, Sherlock Holmes (James D'Arcy) helps actress Rebecca Doyle (Gabrielle Anwar) get rid of blackmailer Professor Moriarty (Vincent D'Onofrio), chasing the criminal to his apparent death. Holmes' success makes headlines, and he is hired by a drug dealer, Ben Harrington (Struan Rodger), to find the serial killer who's murdering other drug pushers. While examining the bodies with coroner Dr. Watson (Roger Morlidge), Holmes suspects that Moriarty is alive and behind the killings.
      Graham Theakston
      Piers Ashworth
      Production Co
      Alliance Cinema, Castel Film Romania, Box TV
      R (Drug Content|Violence|Some Sexuality)
      Mystery & Thriller
      Original Language
      Release Date (Streaming)
      Aug 17, 2017
      1h 36m
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