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By-passing the outraged and ignorant who seem to think the only Holmes
is the one played so well by Basil Rathbone many years ago, this movie
nonetheless lacks a great deal of entertainment value, and treats the
audience as if they were dim-wits. Having said that, I am delighted
that Watson is portrayed as something other than a bumbling foil, but
more of Jude Law's role later.
The quantity of expository dialog grates after the first few minutes, and the attempts to show Holmes' thinking by using voice-overs becomes tedious. There are better ways of doing this, but if you're pitching at a CSI-style audience (as a retired forensic scientist, I can assure you all that we do not lean on our instruments, and discuss the basic principles of their function with each other), then perhaps the laziness or ineptness of the script-writer(s) is understandable.
Downey appears to be reprising his role as Stark in Iron Man, but with Jude Law as his near-constant companion just to provide some modicum of variety.
The action comes quickly, and with little let-up, but this is no handicap to the enjoyment. The somewhat washed-out colors and the fact the scenes are almost always in dim locations means much of the movement is hard to discern in the gloom and surely action needs to be clearly seen? The sets themselves show obvious artifacts of cgi and after pieces like Gladiator and more recently the brilliant Avatar, the audience is left feeling either budgets prevented the job being done properly or more dangerously, that the studio didn't care, thinking the drawcards of Holmes, Downey and Law were sufficient.
Though Downey tries hard, it is Law who comes across as more convincing and is the focus of attention whenever the two are together. His portrayal is the highlight of the movie. The lowlight is, obviously, the handcuffed Downey, naked on the bed with only a teddy-bear for modesty. This is US-sit-com stuff and the fact such a tired, clichéd scene features heavily in previews shows the utter lack of imagination the scriptwriters put into their work. And of course, the giant who wreaks mayhem and is near-invincible has been done to death. Is it such a crime to bring something new to the audience?
The climax was both predictable and tedious, but thankfully has one recommendation: it showed the end was near. There are many movies where the talents of the cast are wasted. Sadly, this can so easily be added to the list, and must be done so immediately.
Whoever is responsible for this film should write Arthur Conan Doyle a fervent letter of apology for using his legendary detectives name in vain. Had this film been called the "Marvelous Adventures of Chuckie and his sidekick Frank" it may have passed as something of value; as it is, it is a revisionist trashing of the Holmes brand. Nothing about the character portrayed by Robert Downey even comes close to suggesting the persona of Holmes, except maybe the pipe and that was thrown in, it appears, as an afterthought. The plot is silly, the lines ridiculous and the acting is minimal. When the arch villain asks the Houses of Parliament why they are surprised to see him, when all think him dead, it puts an exclamation point on one of the saddest and silliest movies I have seen in a long time. Sorry, Arthur, better luck, hopefully next time.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Sherlock Holmes (2009): Dir: Guy Ritchie / Cast: Robert Downey Jr., Jude Law, Rachel McAdams, Mark Strong, Kelly Reilly: Classic literary detective figure brought to life by director Guy Ritchie with tremendous sets and visuals. Ritchie has achieved success with such humorous capers as Snatch, but here he creates a larger than life masterwork that looks every bit what Sherlock Holmes represents. Plot regards the resurrection of a black magic killer that Holmes previously brought to justice. Robert Downey Jr. presents the intellect and brilliance of Holmes plus his unappealing lifestyle. This all aids him in a field of broken trusts as well as villains that take on a spiritual type likeness. Jude Law plays war veteran Dr. Watson who proves a great ally. He and Holmes have their differences but both compliment each other with their skill. Rachel McAdams plays Irene Adler who outwitted Holmes twice yet seeks his assistance. She will be a romantic interest but the film avoids formula clichés by presenting her as mysterious. Mark Strong plays the vicious Lord Blackwood whom is arrested and hung but his grave is empty leaving Holmes with haunting impressions. Kelly Reilly is underused as Watson's romantic interest and who is second fiddle to Holmes. Remarkable vision of the classic detective series that wins because the screenplay is clever and the visuals will hit home with fans. Score: 9 ½ / 10
(This is more of an analysis than a review but I won't spoil anything)
I watched this again recently and I picked up a lot of little details I didn't notice before. To be honest I completely underestimated this film. I thought this was going to be a superhero movie with unrealistic or overplayed cliché ridden plot devices. There are a few aspects of his character that are dramatized, however he isn't portrayed to be perfect or some inhuman divine being. He has flaws and weaknesses that help develop his character. More importantly he doesn't appear to be all-knowing which would make his partner, Dr. Watson, a useless character. Aside from a few moments of "how does he figure that out" the only time you'll question realism would be the fighting. Sherlock isn't said to be a great fighter however he's incredibly smart and plans out what he does in combat. To an almost perfect level of prediction but they don't focus too much on fighting, it's equally balanced with the detective segments. You might also enjoy the dialog and well placed humor.
Another plot device I expected was the damsel in distress who needed to be saved and carried throughout the film. The woman in the movie is named Irene Adler and she's the only person who has ever outsmarted him. Considering how incredibly smart Sherlock comes off as that says a lot about her character. To him she's simply called "the woman" out of spite due to her ability to challenge him, but deep down she's the one who got away. I like seeing strong female characters, especially when they're not overly aggressive about it. She knows she's a free spirited and independent woman who doesn't need to step all over men to prove it. Writers tend to make these characters seem resentful of men that just come off as if they're nothing but a cold shoulder.
Dr. Watson is also a well written character. At first it might seem like Sherlock is bad company but we get details of their relationship through actions. Watson clearly enjoys their adventures and he's having a hard time shifting into a more stable life. He isn't a saint who's above Sherlock and he doesn't act like it. Both of them share a mutual respect for each other and their skills which go together to create a very effective team. I did question the fact that he's a doctor who handle himself in an outnumbered fight, but they explain he was an extraordinary soldier who fought in the Second Anglo-Afghan War.
To me the characters are the most important aspects. When movies have bad characters the story will fall apart. We won't be invested or care too much what happens. We see their struggles and want to watch them pull through. So with the important aspects out of the way I would like to mention the writing. Every plot point, character development, conflict and resolution is carefully detailed to make for one amazing story. They cover their plot devices and stay true to the dramatic principle of Chekhov's Gun. The story makes sense all the way through and as a man of logic myself I loved the dramatic reveal at the end (which I won't give away). If you know a little about science you might notice a lot of the detective work actually makes sense. They don't invent a bunch of words or compounds to explain everything. Not everything is 100% accurate but it's a lot more accurate than I was expecting.
Guy Ritchie after a spell in the doldrums returned with a big budget
production of Sherlock Holmes with a rejuvenated Robert Downey Jr as
Sherlock Holmes and Jude Law playing a more brutish Dr Watson.
The villain here is aristocratic Lord Blackwood (Mark Strong) who has been foiled when partaking in a ritual sacrifice and despite being hung for his crimes, seemingly returns from the dead and kills others by use of black magic it seems as he aims to topple the British establishment.
Irene Adler turns up in the shape of Rachel McAdams with a hint of romance with Holmes and there are plenty of hints that Professor Moriarty is lurking in the background.
Guy Ritchie has gone for a grimy, steam-punk setting of London. There is plenty of CGI the more effective being the partially built Tower of London but the CGI looks just that and has aged badly even though the film was only released in 2009.
Ritchie still sticks with his London setting of cockney schemers and wheeler dealers. Its a muscular film with slow motion fight scenes as Holmes anticipates the combat in advance. His Watson is also handy with his fists, you actually wonder if he is a pugilist rather than a doctor. I did find the sub plot of Holmes being put out that Watson is engaged to get married rather irritating and not funny at all.
Still Downey is enjoying himself and gets to try out his English accent again after Chaplin ad Richard III. This is a muscular action adventure film, less of a mystery as the plot places an emphasis on the supernatural and some of Holmes famous deductions are actually laughable.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Exactly how a Sherlock Holmes movie shouldn't be done! This wasn't a
drama of deductive reasoning. It was a period light action movie. Think
Shanghai Knights (except not as good).
The one thing that can be said for it is that it's pacey. There must have been five- plus decent prolonged action scenes.
But this isn't what I put a movie called Sherlock Holmes in to my DVD player to see!
The detective work is mostly limited to Holmes predicting the direction of his opponents next punches. Robert Downey Jr, who plays Holmes, is totally opposite to the character I expected (although I suspect this is partly the point).
In the end this movie wiled away an evening fairly innocuously but I'm not going to rush to see the sequel.
The very only thing that was off in the movie was the confrontational
aspect of Watson, who in the book normally accepts pretty much anything
Holmes sends his way, but it wasn't done in a way that was unpleasant,
and other than that, the movie was surprisingly good and far closer to
the books than previous adaptations.
In fact, I have a theory that quite often, when people say this movie is "not faithful to the spirit of the books", the person saying that hasn't read the books in a good 20 years, barely remembers them, and is a fan of one of the previous adaptations, which are often quite far from the book. As a result, no wonder that they'd have a different view of it.
you can watch it online at: http://www.inspiring-movies.com/sherlock-holmes-2009-full-hd- 1080-720
Ritchie finally takes the hints and allows others in on his creations. This time he leaves the script alone, so we are free from his mockney "Cor blimey geezer" dialogue. Instead, there's more charm and wit here. Law and Downey Jr. make an excellent couple, and aren't afraid to show a true love between Holmes and Watson. They bicker over everything, but it's easy to see they were meant to be.It does have all the action you would expect from a modern Hollywood take on the character, but it doesn't feel too intrusive. Having Holmes plan out his fights in a logical way before making his moves fits an action version of the character. Strong is an excellent villain and an amazing actor. It's an enjoyable romp, even if it doesn't quite break the mold.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
There are times when you are touched by a film, or sometimes you may
find a personal truth within a film, at times its the acting and story
and sometimes you just want to be entertained. When this movie
finished, i felt satisfied I had been entertained for a couple of
hours. Job done.
However its taken me a while to get around to this as I am not a fan of Guy Ritchie and his mockney wide boy movies but I must admit I was shocked by the quality of action in this film. What he also gives the film is the sense of fun and it helps that Robert Downey Jr is an entertaining actor at the worst of times and he works really well with Jude Law.
Kelly Reilly, quite well known in this country is a nice bit of fluff for the boys and the story it interesting enough to keep attention to the thrilling finale on top of the still to be finished London bridge.
A lot of people have compared it to the TV show with Benedict Cumberbatch and while I also like that version I do prefer the movies but they are totally different animals.
Speaking of animals I have to feed my Lion see you later mwah mwah!
Guy Ritchie's Sherlock Holmes is a well-mannered and fairly acceptable
revival to a mystery character as old as time itself. His name has been
associated with sarcastic remarks, among other things, and it seems
that between two Hollywood movies and the BBC program that the
character has waltzed his way back into the mainstream eye. It always
seemed to me that the character of Sherlock Holmes was more of a
hipster phenomenon rather than a mainstream one. The film manages to
keep the look and feel of an "inside joke," but unfortunately, can't
escape its oppressive Hollywood weight.
Let's the start with the premise; It's 1891, and in the beginning, Holmes (Downey Jr.) and Watson (Law) chase down Lord Blackwood (Strong) so as to prevent a harsh ritual, wind up stopping him, and have him arrested, to learn three months later that he is dead. Watson looks forward to escaping the mundane town to marry his love Mary Morstan (Reilly) and leave Holmes to fend for himself. It isn't until Holmes is greeted by Rachel McAdams's Irene Adler, who tells him to search for a missing man named Luke Reordan, who is apparently the main puzzle piece to Blackwood's future plans.
The first problem is the central storyline, which isn't very gripping or involving, rather than just acting as a storytelling device. A plot to have one if you will. It's tolerable, but at times, it seems singled out by Hans Zimmer's extravagant music and overshadowed by the chemistry of Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law. One could easily become more entranced with character relationships and bantered wit much more than the filler storyline.
Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law make an impeccable duo, as brazen and as enjoyable as ever. Quite possibly the best actors to ever portray these characters. Downey is a superb actor for the roll, brash and unapologetic in his words and intellect, while Law portrays Watson as a more subtle figure in Holmes' cross-hairs. The comic possibilities of the screenplay are explored in a divine form, making way for a lot of button-pushing and world play to come into great effect. Their banter is undoubtedly the most fun thing in the film, and both characters have ignitable chemistry and presence on screen.
As far as set designs work, Philippe Rousselot's ravishing cinematography, most of the time, works in the film's favor. Once in a while, it seems the backgrounds were more of the central concerns than the writing or tone, but it still comes off as fun and pleasant, without being too hard on the eyes or even heavy-handed and misguided.
For me, Sherlock Holmes was a tad thin and vacuous. Ritchie's direction is great, the chemistry between the cast is welcomed and unforced, and the cinematography and music all of likable quality, but the film's storyline is a tad too unfocused and dry, and the redundancy of the look and feel for over two hours becomes a little hard to digest. I'm not entirely sure what fans will think of it. The mystery aspect seems a little flushed out in favor of other things, which I believe was one of the best things in the original series and shorts, and Hollywood has yet again taken a perfectly capable idea and manipulated it to the point where repetition and familiarity comes into play before anything in the film does.
Starring: Robert Downey Jr., and Jude Law, Rachel McAdams, Mark Strong, and Kelly Reilly. Directed by: Guy Ritchie.
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