WARNING: AVOID AT ALL COSTS!
WATCH AT YOUR OWN RISK!
This version of "The Hound of the Baskervilles" from the year 2000 has to be the worst one made so far.
Usually I try to find the best in every film. But this movie makes it simply impossible. I am really sorry to say this, but you’d be better off without ever watching this movie.
It's a waste of time.
"The Hound of the Baskervilles" is the first in a series of four films produced for the Canadian television broadcaster CTV and the American Hallmark Channel in 2000.
The story of a hound haunting the family of the Baskervilles on the moors of Dartmoor is perhaps the best known Sherlock Holmes story.
One of my main beefs with this film is:
After their first meetings, Watson leaves together with Sir Henry for Baskerville Hall. Holmes pretends to stay behind in London. In truth, he follows his friend and their client to Dartmoor. There he investigates on his own.
So far, so good.
In the novel, Watson eventually discovers Holmes's hideout and he waits for him. The detective eventually appears and has to explain why he played such a trick on his friend.
In this movie nothing happens.
The meeting between Holmes and Watson on the moor is one of the best known and best loved scenes in the Sherlock Holmes canon.
Many movie versions appreciate this and show it accordingly.
This film simply ignores it. Shortly before the end, Holmes suddenly reappears without explanation.
And I ask myself, what was the script writer thinking? What's the meaning?
Unfortunately, the explanation Matt Frewer gives at the end is not at all satisfactory.
Matt Frewer's Holmes is quite maniacal. He patronizes Watson more than usual. His scathing remarks seem inappropriate. He is rather over the top.
I feel rather sorry for Kenneth Welsh's Watson in this movie.
He doesn't deserve the abuse the detective gives him. Therefore it is quite good to see him act alone most of the time as soon as he leaves with Sir Henry for Baskerville Hall.
In this regard, it is fortunate that Holmes only reappears shortly before the end.
The supporting actors do a good job as well.
Both Jason London as Sir Henry Baskerville and Emma Campbell as Beryl Stapleton deliver steady and satisfactory performances.
Robin Wilcock easily outshines everyone else. He is by far the best actor in this movie. His villain Stapleton is cold and menacing; a simple yet great performance.
I know I repeat myself, but I'd like to rephrase a quote from the original story:
As you value your time or your high spirits keep away from this movie.
I was very disappointed by this film and I found it quite hard to watch it again in order to write this review.
There are many better versions of "The Hound of the Baskervilles" available.
See for example the adaptations with Basil Rathbone, Peter Cushing, Jeremy Brett, Ian Richardson or the latest one with Richard Roxburgh.
But if you should watch this version with Matt Frewer and are disappointed, don't say I didn't warn you ;)