Picks and Pans Review: Murder by Decree
The game is afoot—for the 134th time since the first Sherlock Holmes movie, a one-reeler back in 1903. In this one, Holmes and Dr. Watson set out from 221B Baker Street to track down Jack the Ripper, whose murders are lovingly rendered in gory slow-motion detail. Following in the footprints of such actors as Basil Rathbone, William Gillette and John Barrymore, Christopher Plummer is a rather uninspired Holmes. He is more fallible than the standard version and displays a dangerous ethical streak that, in an interminable eight-minute soliloquy, almost scuttles the film. James Mason's Watson, on the other hand, is properly stuffy and very funny. And Genevieve Bujold and Donald Sutherland are delightful in cameos as a cast-off lover and a psychic. But there's a problem with the film and its solution is elementary: the plot never quite thickens. (PG)
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