DVD review: Mr Holmes (9 out of 10)

Sir Ian McKellan is Mr Holmes
Sir Ian McKellan is Mr Holmes

After the scores of Sherlock Holmes films and TV programmes, hearing that another incarnation was being created might have brought a few looks of derision.

But Mr Holmes is unlike any other version.

Instead of battling against villains, Sherlock is faced with his greatest fears - the loss of his intellect and memory.

Sir Ian McKellan plays the man himself, showing his masterful acting skills to give us Holmes in his prime and in his dotage.

We meet the detective after he has retired to the Sussex coast (and yes it is the Sussex coast!), with a widow looking after him while her young son provides some distraction from his aches and pains.

Gone are the other characters - Watson, Lestrade, Mrs Hudson are all dead.

Holmes is busy looking after his bees but is troubled by his final case.

Something happened that led him to retire, but he can’t recall what the outcome was.

And so we move around time as the past filters through to his mind as his memory pieces events together.

It’s a superb story and Laura Linney is excellent as his housekeeper and Milo Parker as her son clearly has a great future ahead.

There is a sub-plot involving Holmes’ trip to a war-ravaged Japan which does distract a bit.

However, on home soil Sussex provides a beautiful backdrop to round off an excellent movie.

Film details: Mr Holmes (PG) 104mins

Director: Bill Condon

Starring: Ian McKellen, Laura Linney, Hiroyuki Sanada