Uncharacteristically late to the party, The Asylum released their take on Sherlock Holmes in 2010, after Guy Ritchie’s first Robert Downey Jr starring movie came out in 2009.
So who is actually in this one?: Well, you have Dominic Keating, who was on Enterprise, and Gareth David-Lloyd playing Watson, and he was previously on Torchwood. Holmes is played by Ben Syder, in his first role ever, and it shows. Syder is the most timid, meek Sherlock ever on film. They barely try to establish his characteristic observation skills and there’s none of the fun eccentricity of RDJ’s Holmes or the smug arrogance of Benedict Cumberbatch’s take. Watson is pretty boring as well, with David-Lloyd just kind of running around blankly and there’s pretty much zero chemistry or back and forth between Watson and Holmes.
What’s the case they are handling, I saw dinosaurs?: Well, there’s a mysterious shipwreck off the coast where the lone survivor claims they were attacked by a sea monster and then there starts to be reports a dinosaur stalking White Chapel. Working with Inspector Lestrade, Holmes and Watson try to uncover the true nature of this monsters.
Does Sherlock do anything clever to solve the mystery?: Not really, he and Watson just kind of stumble around and get the bare minimum of clues that leads them to a castle in Holmes’ old hometown of Hellsmouth and they discover Holmes’ brother, Thorpe, is behind everything. He used to be partner’s with Lestrade but took a bullet and was paralyzed but he’s now developed a steampunk Iron Man suit that allows him to walk and all the monsters are robots. He plans on attacking London with a robotic dragon and blame it on Lestrade.
That seems a little excessive: A bit, he also sets up his assistant, Ivory, who is also a robot, with a bomb and sends her to Buckingham Palace to blow up the Queen.
Where did Thorpe get all this technical know how?: They never explain it and they also never explain how he’s basically created some of the most sophisticated AI ever with a bunch of gears and vacuum tubes. Ivory is fully conscious and even completely fools Watson when they first meet and he awkwardly asks her to accompany him to the opera.
So how does this whole mess get resolved?: Well, Sherlock steals a hot air balloon/helicopter from Thorpe and they have a dogfight over London while Watson tracks down Ivory but she easily overpowers him and the guards but he has some sort of vial of something that he injects and stops Ivory. Don’t ask me what he injected because, again, she’s a goddamn robot and you can’t really tranquilize robots. Meanwhile, Sherlock crashes the hot air balloon into the dragon and they crash on the lawn of Buckingham Palace. Thorpe crawls out and is about to shoot Watson but Sherlock shoots and kills him first.
That seems kind of an un-Sherlock way of solving the case: Well if you saw the last episode of BBC’s Sherlock, things get resolved in a kind of similar way but, yeah, there’s no big reveal by Sherlock about how he solved the mystery and the whole scheme is kind of obvious, although it does make more sense than Sherlock literally fighting dinosaurs and dragons.
Is it worth watching?: Not really, take your pick of Guy Ritchie’s movies or BBC’s series, as both are infinitely more interesting and fun than this. I would even rather watch Elementary than this.