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Sherlock Holmes More at IMDbPro »

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8 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

Dull, over-bearing update of classic literary series

Author: davideo-2 from United Kingdom
14 September 2010

STAR RATING: ***** Saturday Night **** Friday Night *** Friday Morning ** Sunday Night * Monday Morning

Sherlock Holmes (Robert Downey Jr.) finally catches the elusive Lord Blackwood (Mark Strong), who's been responsible for a series of murders and occult black magic use in 19th century England, and sees him, or apparently sees him executed. But when it appears the super-villain has mysteriously risen from the grave, Holmes and his nagging but ever loyal sidekick Dr. Watson (Jude Law) must use all their detective know how and skill to solve the mystery while dodging obstruction from every corner of London society.

A big screen adaptation for 21st century audiences of Arthur Conon Doyle's legendary literary detective was an unusual change of direction for southern hot shot Guy Ritchie to take on, but he's gone at it with his usual gusto, leaving no stone unturned and striving for the most professional job he can get. Unfortunately, his SH is a bewildering mess, a long, heavy, humourless affair that is curiously short on entertainment value.

Much of the dialogue is probably true to the style Doyle originally used in his novels, but it is nonetheless baffling and over-whelming even to someone like me who isn't much of a lover for slang. It manages to be a lot of style with no real substance, and for a 'blockbuster' doesn't give you a lot to be on the edge of your seat about. Performances wise, Downey Jr. tries to get under the skin of the lead character, but doesn't stand out and does a questionable cockney accent, while Law is as bland and unremarkable as ever as the sidekick. Even support like Eddie Marsan and Kelly Reilly can't do anything. Strong is good as the villain, practically playing the role in his sleep, and things do perk up a bit at the end. Overall, though, Ritchie should stick to gangster films. **

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7 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

Visually stylish, otherwise totally bland

Author: paulj_ from United States
2 March 2011

As with most of Hollywood "blockbuster" cinema these days, the film suffers from an inescapable, one-dimensionalism. It is all about style; the cinematography, costuming, digital sets and effects, etc. are all top notch. As well, the quippy dialogue betrays a certain shallow, slick stylism that the script suffers from in general. However, far from being a clever distillation of the best of Holmes and Watson, the film instead suffers throughout from a post-modernistic reductionism that flattens our heroes into effete, world-weary caricatures of their literary counterparts.

In a nutshell, for Holmes enthusiasts particularly, the film--in spite of the stylishly depicted action sequences--is dull and soulless, almost as if bored with its own pointlessness. Telling of our times, perhaps, but far from great storytelling.

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26 out of 46 people found the following review useful:

Sherlock ADHD

Author: alfa-624-376688 from Netherlands
2 January 2010

Why did I find this movie totally boring?

The acting: None of the characters could hold my attention. All of them lacked a soul. Watching Robert Downey Jr is like watching a brick wall, nothing happens, only a negative radiation and a view in a bottomless lake. The 2 leading ladies were also a big disappointment, catwalk faces with zero expression. Ow, how I missed a Hitchcock heroin. I always love Jude Law but here his sparkles also die and it's not his fault, he was still the best of them all. Btw, Jude looks very sexy with mustache.

The directing: Guy Ritchie probably focused only on the visuals and the story. As far as scenery and so on the movies is okay. The story however is way too blurry and unnecessarily complex and far-fetched. A typical boy's story, -now this happens now that happens- -this is fun that is fun- with no thoughts about the feelings to trigger with the viewer. Everything we get to see is brainy and rational. 19th Century London could have been breathtaking atmospheric if only this product wasn't aimed at the ADHD generation.

Digital filming: it is obvious this movie was not shot on celluloid but digitally shot which saves a lot of money. The problem with digital shooting becomes clear during action scenes, they are not fluid but shaky. Also the dynamics between light and dark are very limited. The whole movie is covered in a boring grey scale which even covers the girls make up.

The editing: It is way too fast, so none of the scenes make it to the unconsciousness or can become iconic.

Music and sound: I can't remember any tune anymore, except that left and right speakers continually gave dis adjusted sounds.

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6 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

Seems to be based on non-Sherlock Holmes material

Author: ravenosa from United States
10 June 2010

Where to start? My main problem with the film was there being NO Sherlock Holmes or Watson characters, and NO mystery plot. Seemed more like some strange action/fantasy hybrid.

I have a feeling we'll find out where there going with this in the sequel. Perhaps Jude Law is actually playing Sherlock Holmes? I think Robert Downey may be covering for him, as Jude seemed to be the one more likely to be the Sherlock type.

Other than the lack of plot and characters, I had a major problem with the ridiculous action scenes. I guess I should have been ready for them from seeing the trailers/commercials but there's more ridiculous action than I could tolerate. Especially for a film labeled as a Sherlock Holmes film.

1/10. Can't recommend it for any reason.

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8 out of 11 people found the following review useful:

Insipid and boring

Author: oarch from e.g. London, England
6 April 2010

Maybe I'm getting old, but maybe this movie is just stupid.

Most of the time various people just run around like headless chicken. Any B-movie from the 80s had a more solid plot than this waste of celluloid.

The only difference is the production, but not even that is very impressive.

I guess this is the way Hollywood movies are made these days, but I think when our kids see this in 20 years time they will think "how could you watch this junk willingly?" I could forgive over the top acting, I could forgive over the top everything else, but I can't forgive that they forgot to conceive a plot for this.

It's one of those movies that you struggle to remember whether you've seen it or you've just seen the trailer and someone warned you not to waste time with it. Well, I've seen it and I warn you not to waste time with it.

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9 out of 13 people found the following review useful:

Not quite that bad, but...

Author: doobleg from Australia
24 May 2010

... this really is just 'Wild Wild West' without the spider.

Out of time techno-gadgets are used to usurp the lawful government, and only two dedicated men and a woman with questionable allegiances can save the day... sound familiar?

Factor in the lack of chemistry between the male leads and the awfully staged and completely unnecessary action set-pieces, and you've got yourself Will Smith's lamest ever outing in film (only with British accents).

Guy Ritchie... what happened to you, man?


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9 out of 13 people found the following review useful:

Even worse than Wild, Wild West

Author: ddelamaide from United States
14 May 2010

I thought it would be hard for a remake to be worse than Wild, Wild West but this version of Sherlock Holmes managed to do it. And that was just on old TV series, while Sherlock Holmes founded a whole literary genre.

It's not surprising that this anachronistic action thriller on steroids is popular -- the budget, the production values, the actors all saw to that. What's surprising is that those who claim to have read the stories by Arthur Conan Doyle still maintain that this Victorian James Bond has anything to do with him. This hodgepodge borrows everything, from Indiana Jones in the opening scene to James Bond apocalypses -- everything that is except the original works by Doyle.

What Robert Downey does on the screen may be entertaining, but it has nothing to do with acting. Jude Law is his usual insipid self. Rachel McAdams is her usual glowing self, though totally miscast in what may be the worst-written role in a pathetic script.

Hollywood has truly abandoned any pretense to making quality films in its pursuit of the adolescent audience it thinks will save it. Good luck with that.

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10 out of 15 people found the following review useful:

Boring, bubbles in the think tank, flash in the pan

Author: inkslayer from United States
28 August 2010

It took three guys to write this mess? I've quoted him before, I'll quote him again, director Vincent Sherman: "More writers doesn't necessarily mean a better script. It usually means just the opposite." And so, Sherlock Holmes doesn't know what kind of screenplay it should be. An action flick? A buddy movie? A rip off of a TV forensic drama? One thing for sure, as a result of not answering the crucial question when writing a screenplay, "What is it about?" Guy Ritchie gives us a boring, bubbles in the think tank, flash in the pan.

I can just imagine the yackety-yack over drinks: "If we can get Law and Downey, then it'll be commercial! Oh, oh, and make sure Law and Downey whine and bicker like two women during their menses, because audiences love when men complain in unmanly ways. And don't forget to tell the camera guys to work it like CSI. And, and, make sure Bobby looks buff because astute men can't just be shrewd, they have to look manly, otherwise the bare-chested fight scene, which really has nothing to do with anything, won't work."

Be forewarned, Mr. Ritchie's plot revolving around a villain, who may or may not be dead, has been done already. So, the storyline is not fresh. In addition, Mr. Ritchie shows and tells us things not once, but twice. Does he think audiences are dead from the neck up? Then why waste precious plot time? Mr. Downey mumbles when his English accent gets lower. The CGI is painfully evident. Holmes and Watson as super heroes are just plain out of character and dumb.

If you can't tell a well-written screenplay from bestselling ones, then this is the bird-cage liner for you.

If, on the other hand you haven't forgotten how to open a book and you're not acquainted with Doyle's novels and anthologies, then get reading. It's fun to create your own little mind-movie and interpret fiction yourself rather than enabling Mr. Ritchie to get richer and offend the masses in the name of "entertainment."

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10 out of 15 people found the following review useful:

Do you feel fortuitous, tramp?

Author: Steve from Sweden
7 April 2010

Sherlock Holmes the action hero is here. This is a film made for people who have not had any but the most fleeting contact with Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's classic hero. Unfortunately, everything that makes Doyle's Sherlock interesting (his dedication to cold logic, self-destructive nature and absolute need for puzzles to solve in order to keep his dark side busy) is all but gone, mostly replaced with less disturbing traits. Instead of an intellectual character who defeats his enemies with his mind, the Sherlock in this film is more likely to employ his fists and weapons. Just being smart simply isn't sexy, so Holmes gets to be a Victorian Dirty Harry instead.

If you have only a vague idea of who Sherlock Holmes is then you'll probably love this film. Production value is high, the acting mostly good, the rendering of London wonderful. Anyone who ever read one of Doyle's books, however, should stay well away.

Of course we have Sherlock Holmes 2 to look forward to as well. Where, no doubt, more bad guys will taste Holmes fists of fury. Do you feel fortuitous, tramp?

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20 out of 35 people found the following review useful:

Not bad, but not what I was hoping for

Author: tsheridan94 from United States
30 January 2010

This movie provides one of the scenarios where the credits look better than the movie. When I first saw the trailer, I began to look forward to seeing Sherlock Holmes. I enjoyed the quick-witted dialogue interspersed with seemingly random flairs of action.

If only the movie had been this good. Granted, I didn't hate it either, and I saw after seeing the two best movies of 2009, Avatar and The Road, so my expectations were a little bit higher as well. However, these expectations aren't insurmountable, as long as q movie is successful in what it aims to do. Sherlock Holmes does not accomplish this. At least, not completely.

The best bits of dialogue were already shown in the trailer. Throughout the movie, Robert Downey spoke in a monotonous mumble, that I, as well as the other movie-going sleuths, often had to decipher for ourselves. That's not to say Downey Jr. Was bad. On the contrary, the bittersweet relationship between Holmes and Watson was the most engaging part of the script.

The plot began interestingly enough, but it was bogged down by the plodding sameness of the scenery, and the obvious sequel set-up. By the end, I found myself wondering why Guy Ritchie had chosen to devote so much time into preparing a sequel that he forgot to pay attention to the script that was in front of him.

Without Downey and Law, this movie would have been a total waste of money. As it is, save your money for a movie more worth your time (Avatar, anyone?), and go see Sherlock in a second-run theater, or better yet, as a rental from Blockbuster.

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