Monday, December 28, 2009

Sherlock Holmes is not such a crime as I thought it would be...

I have to say I was pleasantly surprised that director Guy Ritchie didn't commit a horrible crime in his resurrection of the Sherlock Holmes character.
Sherlock Holmes 2009 movie billboard
Even though at times it does feel like everyone is trying a little too hard to make it all work, the film has a good plot, engaging cast and moves at a nice pace to keep the audience entertained.
Robert Downey Jr as Sherlock Holmes
Robert Downey Jr's Sherlock Holmes is certainly entertaining and eccentric to say the least, but at times he also feels like a knock-off version of the quirky 'Doctor' from Brit sci-fi TV series Doctor Who.

But that's a minor criticism and at least it's a fresh take on the traditional deerstalker and pipe depiction we are usually presented with of the Baker Street based detective.

Big Ben promotional replica at The Grove
Sherlock Holmes Big Ben at The Grove
In fact the costumes and London settings are nicely done and it is a revelation to see that Guy Ritchie has more than the gangster movie string to his bow.

Although a visual break from the grimy, gritty London would have been novel at some point throughout the movie to lighten the tone a tad.

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle statue in Crowborough, U.K.
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle Crowborough statue
The pairing of Robert Downey Jr and Jude Law works really well and their chemistry provides for a lot of the humour in the movie. In fact it is a surprisingly witty romp at times.

Rachel McAdams makes for a worthy love interest for Holmes as 'Irene Adler', a woman with criminal tendencies and a murky past with the detective, whilst Kelly Reilly as Watson's fiance 'Mary Morstan' is also a good foil to Holmes eccentricity.

Sherlock Holmes creator and author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle Statue
My main criticisms of the movie would be the terrible CGI at the end of the movie for the showdown on the under construction London Bridge, plus the fact that this movie was a bit of a set up for a future franchise with the shadowy protagonist revealed to be Sherlock Holmes arch nemesis Professor Moriarty.

Regardless, Mark Strong's Lord Blackwood provides a suitably evil protagonist for this incarnation of Sherlock's first cinematic outing and there's nothing like world domination as motivation and a diabolical doomsday machine to make a villain more menacing.

Big Ben clock tower model at The Grove
Big Ben Sherlock Holmes movie promotion
The mix of magic and science in the movie was also nicely done and saved it from being just another detective story.

Although it was an entertaining film, the whole didn't quite add up to the sum of its parts, so I give Sherlock Holmes three *** stars. Having said that, it will be interesting to see where they take the characters next.
Sherlock Holmes USA film billboard
So will there be another movie you ask? Why that's elementary my dear Watson, with its fantastic festive Box Office look for a few more outings in Old London Town in the future.

Today I'll see if Avatar measures up to all the hype...

2 comments:

JRey/L.A. said...

Nice review. I love The Grove for movies. Good photos, too. Will definitely see this film because of your review. The key art (main artwork for the campaign) is beautiful, too. Not very exciting, but the finishing is gorgeous! Robert Downey, Jr. wishes he looked so good!! Kudos to Crew Creative Advertising.

Jason in Hollywood said...

Yes High Def cinema not as forgiving as an airbrush, but I have a soft spot for Robert Downey Jr so he can do no wrong :-)

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