Tonight we watched a film that I remember fondly from my childhood. The Spielberg-produced, Young Sherlock Holmes. A decent Indiana-lite adventure that once freaked me out with its trippy hallucination sequences. It always came on the telly on a wet Saturday afternoon.
When trying to convince Alex it was a worthwhile watch, I said 'You'll like it, it's a bit like Harry Potter'. I don't mind a bit of H.P. now and again and neither does Alex. I'm not into the books or anything, but I'll watch the films. Anyway, having not seen Young Sherlock Holmes in at least 10 years, 'a bit like Harry Potter' turned out to be a hell of an understatement. Y'know Withnail & I has that drinking game? Well here's one for Young Sherlock: take a swig everytime something Harry Potter-y comes on screen - you won't make the credits.
The main 3 characters, Holmes (Harry), Watson (Ron) and Elizabeth (Hermoine) wander around their big old school in their stripey scarves getting into all sorts of pavlovas. They make friends with an eccentric old professor (Dumbledore), sneak about after dark and take the piss out of Watson for being a clumsy arse. Sherlock spends most of the film with a scar on his face (given to him by the bad guy, for goodness' sake). Tea is eaten in a massive hall complete with a million candles, comedy twins and scowling teachers:
There's even a fencing (wand) lesson where Holmes proves himself to be a formidable fencer (wizard) but is warned that he needs to keep his emotions in check, or else. As the mystery (concerning an Egyptian cult) unravels, the gang head out into the London underworld (Diagon Alley) to visit curious shops in the search for clues. I'm using Google to find these names, by the way.
Best of all though is Holmes' rival, Dudley (Draco). A right proper ponce who sneers and scowls his way through the film as he plots Sherlock's downfall. He's a bad egg. He chats up Elizabeth. He gets Holmes expelled. He nicks a trophy. Just take a look at him next to Draco Malfoy from Harry Potter. Ooh, that rotter:
Pretty close eh? When you see him in action it's hard to not be all 'hang on a second, this is getting weird'. I guess it could still be a coincidence though. Well, yeah, but just wait until Sherlock goes and makes a potion that TURNS HIS GODDAMN HAIR WHITE:
Haha! It's like J.K. Rowling wrote some weird Young Sherlock Holmes fan-fiction and it all got a bit out of control. Look, he's even got a couple of cronies tagging along with him. There has to be something fishy going on, right? Right?
Well, maybe. Turns out some guy beat me to the comparison by about 5 years. He goes into a fair bit of depth on this blog about it. There's a lot of interesting stuff about J.K. Rowling's influences, Chris Columbus' involvement in Young Sherlock / the H.P. films and more nerdy comparisons that I could ever make. Here's me thinking I was dead insightful.
I'm not meaning to go all conspiracy theorist here, Harry Potter has a ton of really cool ideas going on. It's cool. These similarities only make watching Young Sherlock Holmes more fun. If you're in the mood, you can even watch thewhole thing on YouTube right now.