What can be better than a smart British comedy? Not many things, in my humble opinion.
Dr. Watson (Ben Kingsley), a very intelligent physician, happens to help in solving a crime; however, not wishing it to affect his career, he gives all the credit to a fictional character he invents - Mr. Sherlock Holmes. The invented sleuth becomes very popular, both with the public and with Scotland Yard. Everyone wants to meet him, so Dr. Watson decides to hire an actor to play Sherlock Holmes. He chooses Reginald Kincaid (Michael Caine) - a drinking, gambling, skirt-chasing fellow, hopelessly inept as a sleuth. However, Kincaid looks just like the famous detective should look; the public happily accepts him, and his popularity grows even more.
The sham goes on for a while, with Kincaid bathing in glory and Watson doing all the crime-solving. Then Watson gets tired of Kincaid drunken antics and gambling debts. He decides to fire the actor and reveal the truth. Too late: no one believes that the brilliant mind behind all this was Dr. Watson, not Sherlock Holmes. Scotland Yard refuses to work with him, private clients disappear as well. A particularly complicated case forces Watson to seek reconciliation - temporarily, as he points out, just to solve this one last crime. Kincaid agrees. Little does he know that this time he will have to do a bit more than simply acting the part.
This excellent comedy is of the kind that I can watch over and over again. Michael Caine and Ben Kingsley are perfect in the two leading roles, their sparkling dialogue is a treat. I had not seen Kingsley in any comedies before, so his top-notch performance was a pleasant surprise. Paul Freeman creates just the right kind of villain, the evil genius Moriarty.
Special features on this DVD are nothing special, but the movie itself is well worth checking out.