Etan Cohen can’t blame the writer for the bad script, he wrote it, and his direction does nothing to help the inept story.
The film begins when Holmes as a child is set upon by other kids at an exclusive school in London. His exclusion by other students leads him to remove closeness to other folks and become the fact based detective we all know. His first act following his decision leads to the expulsion of all other students from the school, leaving him a full faculty to teach just him. He learns a lot.
The script is a series of events that have little to do with each other, there is not clear stream of interest connecting each of the episodes. They include a sensual forensic examination by John C. Reilly who plays Watson and Rebecca Hall Dr. Grace Hart who arrives from America. She is a woman doctor which is confusing for Holmes and Watson.
Dr Hart’s assistant Millie is played by Lauren Lapkus who was raised by cats and has little verbal skill, but she has many characteristics which attract Holmes who eventually sings a Broadway style song about love as he walks the streets of London.
The two bumbling detectives, nearly kill the Queen and spend a significant amount of time attempting to hide what they believe is her dead body. They have a house keeper, who has a secret as she scurries around at the beckoning call of Holmes. We get to see Holmes in a vomit scene, is that supposed to be comedy. They even take credit for helping folks get on the Titanic.
The best line comes from a group of kids that Watson is attempting to influencing, when he finishes what he believes to be new knowledge for the kids. They reply, “No shit Sherlock.”
Save this one for a cold winter afternoon and watch it on TV, it will help you to take a wonderful nap.