Young Sherlock Holmes | Chicago Reader

Young Sherlock Holmes

This time it was Barry Levinson (Diner) who disappeared behind the dominant personality of executive producer Steven Spielberg. It's a High Concept film—Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson as teenagers—and the concept never takes on human form. The filmmakers (who include Chris Columbus, the screenwriter of Gremlins) are content to project the familiar dynamics of the Rathbone-Bruce relationship onto the adolescent actors, which makes the title seem a bit of a fraud—this is Middle-aged Sherlock Holmes in schoolboy drag, and the audience is expected to chuckle appreciatively as the old material is trotted out. Apart from the startling resemblance of star Nicholas Rowe to his executive producer, about the only personal Spielberg touch I could make out is the film's obsession with father figures (there are no less than three, and each is troublesome in a different way); the rest consists of his highly imitable blend of extraneous special effects, overscaled action, and endless chases. With Alan Cox, Sophie Ward, and Anthony Higgins.

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