It has been some time since Sherlock (Ian McKellen - The Golden Compass) parted company with his dear friend Watson, when he got married, and it is almost as long since Sherlock has worked as a sleuth. But now he finds himself dealing with his failing memory and health whilst haunted by a woman from his last case which he is struggling to remember what happened, or at least what happened which caused him to stop being the famous detective. Now spending his time bee-keeping Sherlock finds himself bonding with Roger (Milo Parker), the young sun of his current housekeeper, Mrs. Munro (Laura Linney - Hyde Park on Hudson), as young Roger not only helps him tend to his bees but also in trying to write down the events of the case he is struggling to remember.
Would I want to watch a movie featuring an old Superman who when he isn't flying is walking with a stick or an old Spiderman who is now in a wheelchair, no. But when it comes to Sherlock Holmes that is a different matter, especially when a man known for his sharp intellect is cruelly being robbed of exactly what made him so great. And it has to be said that the simply named "Mr. Holmes" is a nicely judged and entertaining movie which gives us a multi-levelled storyline which explores many facets of the Sherlock Holmes character.
As such in "Mr. Holmes" we have in a way dual main storylines as on one hand we have Sherlock trying to remember the facts of his final case whilst we also have the closeness as young Roger bonds with him, almost seeing him as some sort of father figure having lost his own during the war. But whilst those two storylines give us everything be it mystery, revelations, emotion and drama we then get further storylines including an almost self referential element as Holmes whilst a famous detective was partly famous due to Dr. Watson writing about his cases and embellishing certain things such as the mythology of Holmes wearing a deer-stalker. It is an entertaining angle which along with some other minor story ideas make "Mr. Holmes" nicely rounded.
But the success of "Mr. Holmes" is the combination of a truly fine performance from Ian McKellen and the central storyline of the aging Sherlock struggling with his deteriorating memory and increasing frailty. It is such a beautiful combination that you truly feel for this man who once relied on his razor sharp intellect yet now can struggle to find the right words let alone remember a case from decades earlier. What it means when Sherlock has moments of inspired observation you are as overjoyed as he is, well in his reserved way.
What this all boils down to that is "Mr. Homes" is undoubtedly an entertaining and satisfying movie. I just hope one thing, they don't make a sequel because this movie nicely stands alone and a sequel would only lead to repetition.