Sherlock Holmes (The Ayslum Edition) (2010)

The Asylum are clever little buggers. Their ability to snap up screenplays of concepts similar to the next big blockbuster is almost the closest thing to being an evil genius as you can get.

That said, since their inception, I have spent most of my time trying to avoid them. It’s nothing with them per se, it’s just there’s only so many ‘Sharkzilla vs Prawn-Tiger vs Penguin-Kafka vs Animal-Monster’ movies starring whatever 80s star has recently become as relevant as pop tarts, that I can take.

However, as I’ve been in the throes of a Sherlock Holmes binge for the last two months, I thought it was about time that I got in on their interpretation of ‘Sherlock Holmes’; a film starring no one of any particular fame, except that bloke from Torchwood who has managed to prove that fan campaigns like ‘Save Ianto Jones’ really don’t work.

Sherlock Holmes takes the original stories, puts them in a blender, throws in a couple of things that people like (dinosaurs are cool, right?), puts them on liquidize for ten minutes and serves up to the public. It shouldn’t work. It really shouldn’t. They take massive liberties with Sherlock canon; Holmes suffers from an addiction to tabacco as opposed to his opium/cocaine binges and we discover his name is actually Paul.

Plus, the film makers have made no effort to disguise the fact that London is in fact Caenarfon in Wales. Well, unless I missed something and Baker street has always been next to a castle and Hyde Park has always been a forest near some mountains. I have been known to be wrong before.

Yet, that’s the film’s greatest asset is that despite all this, it is a genuinely good romp. The sort of affair one might watch on a rainy Sunday afternoon, with a box of Quality Street and a big mug of tea. If Doctor Who ever collapses under the weight of its own budget and internal politics, then it’s films like these that should be shown at Christmas.

Yes, it can be argued that this film is an insult to Conan Doyle’s original creation, but old Arthur was a spiritualist who believed that his friend Houdini had real magic powers, so who’s the bigger dick? Besides, is Sherlock Holmes piloting a hot air balloon chasing Spring Heeled Jack on a giant metal dragon any more offensive to Holmes canon than this…

Probably not… Good bye!

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