The new film "Mr. Holmes" is a fresh take on the Sherlock Holmes character known the world over, which picks up with the famous detective years after the height of his fame, as he's grappling with aging and one last, seemingly unsolvable case.
Ian McKellen plays the titular character, who sneers at depictions of his life on the big screen and denies ever donning a deerstalker cap or smoking a pipe (he prefers cigars, thank you very much). Yet despite the legend that he's become, Holmes still can't shake the last case of his career, one he failed to solve and which haunts him daily.
He strikes up a friendship with Roger, the young son of his housekeeper (Laura Linney), and re-opens his files, all the while coming to terms with what may be the last chapter of his life. This is treacly territory -- old man befriends little boy, feelings ensue -- but the cliche seems to be in good hands with McKellen at the helm. The actor, himself in the twilight of his career, is tailor-made for this part, and his soulful performance should imbue this visually-stunning film with even more beauty.
"Mr. Holmes," directed by Bill Condon (who also directed McKellen to an Academy Award nomination in "Gods and Monsters"), is due in theaters on July 17.
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