Sherlock Bones: Ace Detective (1994) review

Sherlock Bones: Ace Detective (1994) review

Just... don't.

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For those of us who grew up in the 1990s, there were two types of film aimed at the children’s market. The first type were the films heavily laden with early and incredibly cheap CGI. This list includes the likes of Casper, Flubber and Jumanji to name but three. The second type were the Homeward Bound style films, featuring real life animals that can talk and insisting that everything is shot practically in camera.

Both categories also made extensive use of slapstick humour wherever possible, because that stuff always makes kids chuckle. Sherlock Bones is one of those slapstick heavy films, the sort where performances are over exaggerated, the story is as wafer thin as a particular brand of post-dinner mint, and the script is diabolical.

As this is a kids film, the plot is a mild caper and never likely to offer anything that is deep or meaningful. The story is designed to amuse and keep kids out of their parent’s hair for 70 minutes or so. If my viewing is anything to go by, it’d be lucky to entertain anyone of any age, gender or description.

Gasp! As a young boy makes a slow escape from a tie-dyed villain!

Shriek! As a man tries to balance a tray on one hand and manages to spill its contents!

Amaze! At the Scottish accented talking dog!

Or not. None of these things are any good. The only part that vaguely entertained me was the girl at the end managing to pull together all of the various plot strands like a three foot tall MacGuffin Machine.

Somehow she knows exactly how to prove everything that the villains have done by running up and down the beach collecting items related to the story. Clearly, whoever wrote this backed themselves into a corner in the final act but then didn’t think it would be worth going back and making it work. Just let the young girl do it for no good reason, that’ll work. Humbug.

It comes to something when the worst aspect of a film isn’t that its star is a talking dog. In fact it’s a train-wreck of epic proportions, made on the cheap and the fact it has a talking dog in it barely has any impact on the story. You could have got rid of him completely and it would have carried on regardless. Besides which he spends the entire film wit his paw bandaged up and limited in his involvement anyway. What’s the point?

If the cloying family movie music doesn’t make you want to garrotte yourself within fifteen minutes, the badly dubbed dialogue will. Be warned, watching Sherlock Bones: Ace Detective is a true exercise in patience and endurance. If you have a child to entertain and a choice between this and literally any other film, pick the other film. And if you own a copy of this film: burn it. Destroy it. Turn it into a cheap frisbee. Anything to save another person from accidentally watching it. Trust me, you won’t miss it when it’s gone and you’ll be doing future generations a favour by hiding any and all evidence of its existence. Except for this review of course, this should be kept. A warning against what might have been if nothing else.

REVIEW OVERVIEW
Sherlock Bones: Ace Detective (1994)
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