Without a Clue
Time Out saysYou'd think it would make your toes curl: a period buddy movie set in Victorian England, top names in top hats, carriages clattering on cobbles, puffer trains puffing through the Lake District. Without a Clue has all this, but the buddies are Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson, and the usual set-up has been reversed: Watson (Kingsley) is the clever one, Holmes (Caine) is really Reginald Kincaid, an out-of-work actor hired to maintain Watson's credibility. When the boozy Kincaid begins to revel in his role, Watson becomes jealous and gives him the boot, but soon discovers that he can't do without him. Thanks to inspired casting, the result is superior schlock. The plot concerns the theft of the Treasury's £5 note plates; Moriarty (Freeman) is of course the culprit, and Inspector Lestrade of the Yard (Jones) is of course a dimwit. Although a bit long, it's full of incidental pleasures, and the climax in an empty gaslit theatre is slapstick at its silliest and best.