Saturday, March 24, 2018

Doctor Watson's Daredevil cane

For a very simple movie, Sherlock Gnomes does have a detail or two worth discussing in regard to our larger Sherlock Holmes picture.

The example that fascinated me most in this very non-Canonical tale was Dr. Watson's cane. What could be so fascinating about a cane, you ask?

While on the surface, it's an indirect reference to his war wound, in Sherlock Gnomes it took exactly the opposite meaning: It was Watson's super-power.

The cane itself seemed modeled after the blind man's cane that Matthew Murdock used in many a Daredevil comic. The hook at the top detaches to string out a varying length of cable that Daredevil could use to swing about New York like Spiderman. And that is exactly how Watson uses it in Sherlock Gnomes.

This being a kids movie, the grappling-hook cane replaces the pistol as Watson's utility accessory. (Especially appropriate on the weekend of the "March for Our Lives" anti-gun protests, led by kids.) As Watson is modeled after the Nigel Bruce mode of Watson in Sherlock Gnomes, it's ironic that his grappling-hook cane seems almost more useful than anything Sherlock Gnomes brings to the table. Gnomes need a lot of height-compensating measures, and the cane is all about that.

The lack of balance in the Gnomes/Watson relationship is a key element in Sherlock Gnomes, and, despite whatever else one can say about the movie, does portray a very common point of view about the genius detective and tag-along doctor, especially after BBC Sherlock's emphasis on Holmes having social awkwardness issues. (Among the many little cookies in Sherlock Gnomes is a large air conditioner unit branded "Moffat & Gatiss" -- not sure how purposeful that symbolism was.) But Watson's cane gives him an importance in the partnership in this movie that foreshadows things to come.

Despite the reviews and myriad reasons to hate this cute little cartoon (Johnny Depp, will you please just retire!), there are some things to find interest and joy with Sherlock Gnomes. Still not suggesting that every Sherlockian needs to pay money for it, but if you have ten bucks to spare and ninety minutes to kill, there are worse movies out there to sit through. (Oh, yes, there definitely are worse.)

1 comment:

  1. I think you mean easter egg, not cookie, for "Moffat & Gatiss". In the trailers I noticed this easter egg, a sign in the background says Curly Fu's Emporium. Curly Fu is the Chinese fans’ pet name for Benedict Cumberbatch's Sherlock.