Well, the Peoria movie listings for this weekend aren't quite out yet, so I don't know if Ian McKellen in Mr. Holmes will be making it to our local theaters this week. Oh, Ant-Man will certainly be here, as well as the comedy Trainwreck, but Mr. Holmes is at that level of movie release that one never quite knows about, Peoria-wise. It could be this weekend. It could be a couple of weeks from now.
Which seems kind of fitting.
When the novel that Mr. Holmes is based on, A Slight Trick of the Mind by Mitch Cullen, first came out, I read it and didn't particularly care for it. An aged Sherlock Holmes with his powers failing wasn't exactly something I was excited to read. I read it, but can't say I enjoyed it. Characters that one is drawn to for their exciting powers inevitably have a story where those powers are taken away, and while that might seem like a great dramatic thought to the writer, it kind of sucks for the reader.
I mean, if I wanted to read a tale of a detective who wasn't all that bright, I have plenty of others to choose from. (Even among detectives named "Sherlock Holmes" these days, sad to say.) But when I look to a story about Sherlock Holmes, I'm looking for that dazzling brilliance that goes with that name.
To me, Cullen's book seemed more of an excuse not to have to write dazzling brilliance than an exploration of growing old. At the time I read it, growing old was not a concern of mine, so that may have colored my view of it. During those pre-Downey, pre-Cumberbatch times, I was also desperate for an energetic Holmes at the height of his powers, which we just weren't getting, so the book was even more of a let-down.
But now, as the onset of all that comes with passing one's prime starts to weigh upon my mind, I'm wondering if Mr. Holmes might not get a different reaction from me. We've had our young, energetic Holmes quota filled of late. At this point, Sherlock Holmes in old age will be more of an interesting change. And, to put it bluntly, the quality of a movie never corresponds entirely to the book upon which it was based.
So I wait for Mr. Holmes, kind of like I wait for the coming of growing old: Knowing it will get here at some point, pretty sure it's not going to be completely delightful, but hoping it won't be too painful, and possibly have some great moments in it.
We shall see.