Sherlock Holmes for the remake generation
Sherlock Holmes - Based on the books by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, the
popular detective is portrayed by Robert Downey Jr. His loyal companion
Watson (played superbly by Jude Law) is getting married and Holmes is
none too happy. Their antics are put on the shelf because Lord
Blackwood (ice cold Mark Strong), a powerful man of the occult world,
has committed a series of murders. When he is hung, he rises from the
grave and promises to drastically change the world with himself as
master. With the future of several countries at stake, it is up to
Holmes to stop Blackwood. Downey Jr. disappears into the role like the
character does with various disguises. He is completely believable as a
detective whose deductive skills are so powerful that, without focus,
mundane situations are overwhelming to his psyche. The film and role
Holmes is portrayed as a borderline manic depressive eccentric who
cannot function unless he has a goal to accomplish. In other words:
Robert Downey Jr. The film has fun exploring the part of Holmes left
untouched by the films done by varying Television productions for many
years. Namely: the physical side of Holmes. Yes, Holmes is a boxer,
stick/sword fighter, and a martial artist. It was in the books, and it
is done in this film as well. He flung Moriarty down a chasm with
jujitsu in one of the stories for God's sake! It always bothered me
that Holmes's eccentricities and drug-use seemed to be shelved on the
screen in favor of a more well-put together stern man who would never
deign to get his hands dirty. Holmes was never meant to be a symbol of
stiff-upper lip Britain, yet that's what he became. The obvious reasons
behind these choices were probably finances (or lack thereof concerning
fight co-ordination) and censorship. It's funny how interpretations
work. Icons are taken down such a strange path that, when someone
decides to bring them to where they started, the old looks new. Batman
was always noir. Bond was a quipless suave killer. Holmes could fight.
A down and dirty Holmes is more interesting (surprise!) to a 21st
century audience than an omniscient uppercrust man eternally in a
bathrobe. This Holmes is fairly true to the original character. It may
not be true to the Holmes some people have in their heads, but that
version cherry picks elements of Doyle's original creation. Actually
this Watson is not as close to the original version (younger with no
limp), but this Watson ties Holmes to reality, is less of an audience
fill-in (read: a dumb shmoe) and kicks some major ass.
The film is riveting with only a few parts that actually lag. Huge
explanations are saved until the end. We realize we have seem more or
less all that Holmes has seen, and yet he gleaned far far more with his
powerful intellect. Guy Ritchie's directing is vast and yet detail
oriented. It's fairly comprehensible yet there is enough in the
dialogue and character relationships to warrant future viewings.
Sherlock Holmes is smart and entertaining, a combination which always
works better than either adjective by itself. This is an invigorating
re-boot that reminds us why the detective is such an icon. Robert
Downey Jr. and Jude Law have perfect chemistry like an old married
couple. Mark Strong plays a chilling villain and one lament is that, as
part of the film is spent trying to find him, his performance is
surprisingly brief. Rachel McAdams is the one part of casting that
feels disingenuous. She's not quite devilish or sensuous enough to be
the one woman that outsmarted Sherlock Holmes. Still, a thoroughly
entertaining film for the head and heart. I look forward to the
inevitable sequel. A-.
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Tremendous!!! One of my favorite movies of the year.
What a ride. "Sherlock Holmes" left me giddy. I absolutely loved it. It
was thrilling, funny, stylish, fast-paced and brilliantly acted.
Downey Jr. is a delight to look at. He eats up the screen. He gives the
character all sorts of mannerisms and nuances which really bring Holmes
to life like never before. The chemistry and interplay between him and
Jude Law is hilarious.
I wasn't a big fan of Rachel McAdams's performance, but it didn't
detract from the experience. I felt she just didn't bring as much to
the table as the others. (Kinda like Katie Holmes in Batman Begins.)
Guy Ritchie really outdoes himself here. The way he uses the camera,
the motion, the fluidity, the snappy pacing - I loved every minute of
A really fantastic movie. Well done..