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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.
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.
... 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?
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
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.
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?
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Two really good things here, and one bad.
The bad is that though there are some good components, the thing never gels. Richie has only one formula for humor, and it doesn't work here probably because illogically we want to think this is real. In his earlier works, Richie depended on his ability to create an alternative universe on top of movie clichés. Here he must build on something more fundamental and fails.
One good thing is how the writers mined what was behind the Sherlock phenomenon. At the time the stories appeared, there was a huge battle on for the hearts of the London street. It was dare I say where we are today with the Cairo street. Darwin had presented his theory, and a rush of other scientific discoveries were being made. It really seemed to many that the world was amenable to logic and that at some point logical deduction should come to understand human behavior.
Criminal behavior was seen as some sort of deviance from the healthy and this potentially easier to grasp. So within Londo (and Paris) a strong backlash of spiritualism grew. Magic was the antidote to science, pure and simple. The irony was that the creator of Sherlock was himself the most prominent of the champions of spiritualism. His fictional character was created as something of a cartoon joke. But Sherlock became so popular that Doyle found it impossible to kill him off and write about more "real" things.
The failure of logic to describe human behavior continues to the present in our AI disappointments. (A smaller percentage of Americans believe the science of evolution than did the Londoners of 120 years ago.) So the story here is apt and shows both an understanding of this audience and that of the past. People really want to believe in magical stuff.
The more interesting thing is from a cinematic perspective. Suppose you understood the Sherlock stories, and you understood that they were centered on stringing causal agency so that it makes sense. Suppose you wanted to translate this to film: what is essentially a mental process. How would you do it? The standard for the last 75 years was to wait until the end where the detective's though processes were explained. As he or she would recount the reasoning process, scenes that you have already seen would be replayed so that they "made sense."
Here we have the first improvement on this in a mainstream film. We do see this standard device at the end. But we see variations on it all through the movie, including several times the "working out" what to do next. There are some sideways episodes as well, like the replay of how he stalked his lover in disguise through a circus! This is really intelligent cinematic thinking. Hooray for Guy! This is enough for me to recommend this. But don't expect a successful film.
Downey is great, as always. Rachel McAdams has a strange role to play. Her character really does appear in the original stories as a love interest, but she seems too manipulatable here.
Ted's Evaluation -- 2 of 3: Has some interesting elements.
Yet again Guy Ritchie uses the carcasses of dead animals for effect,
this time in a slaughter house. He treats these once living creatures
From the opening credits I could see that most of the horses in this film (there were many many scenes with horses) were frightened and I will be making a complaint to the RSPCA.
The film was full of sensational nonsense, where I was left wondering why particular scenes were written into the script in the first place, in particular the ship yard fandango. Yawn.
Robert Downey Jnr and Jude Law are both superb actors, but Rachel McAdams (was that her name?) looked like she had wondered out of the Time Traveller's Wife into another film and forgot to act differently.
A film worth missing in general.
The grandfather of the mystery genre -- and film's most adapted
character -- is none other than the great detective Sherlock Holmes, so
if one were to apply Holmes' own deductive reasoning skills, a modern
reinvention was a matter of time. English Director Guy Ritchie
("Snatch," "RocknRolla") applies his witty and gritty crime thriller
style to the first mainstream 21st Century version of Holmes, one that
will likely appeal to a younger crowd and those less familiar with
previous incarnations of the iconic sleuth.
The reason is the new "Holmes" is much less concerned with the quality of the mystery and more focused on breathing a new quirkiness and style into the character and his top-notch detective work. The script hopes you'll be hooked on the reveal of how Holmes figures everything out and not so much the crime/mystery itself. In other words our new "Holmes" is about creating an entertaining diversion in the form of clever logic, high-brow humor and old-school science -- it uses mystery conventions but to a showier end. Wisely, Warner Bros. has trusted the responsibility of delivering this amusement to one of the best and hottest comedians out there in Robert Downey Jr.
Downey Jr. continues to impress in his turn as Holmes, managing to employ his same wit and charms while creating a unique character that makes you feel as if you're watching Holmes, not RDJ with yet another accent. This Holmes is not merely a wise detective of old, but the quirky type, suggesting some insanity behind the genius. RDJ makes him much more colorful and entertaining and takes attention away from an okay storyline.
The mystery surrounds Lord Blackwood (Mark Strong), who appears to have supernatural abilities derived from an ancient magic. He creates terror in London appearing to have risen from the grave and committed a couple murders. Holmes and his dear friend Dr. Watson (Jude Law) are on the verge of ending their partnership because Watson has plans to settle down and marry when the crafty Irene Adler (Rachel McAdams) gets them deep into the Blackwood case.
The supernatural angle didn't work well for the latest Indiana Jones film and it doesn't exactly do well here. "Sherlock Holmes" Ver. 2009 is a little more Dan Brown "Angels & Demons" and a little less "Se7en." This is fine for those who can look to Holmes for a more mainstream romp than what an older crowd might hope to be a rigorous exercise in fine mystery and logic. Again, the fewer the expectations, the better.
As for the lean and mean Guy Ritchie depiction of Holmes, it's not entirely unfounded. The script creatively draws the connection between Holmes' intellectual prowess and how he might use it in a physical bout. It adds another dimension and ups the entertainment factor of the character. It might feel like it's giving a character steroids to put on more of a show, but the appeal would be too narrow if Holmes were straight-laced. Credit, however, has to go to Downey Jr. for making this vision work. His banter with Watson and ability to use classic Holmes logic to a comic effect is infinitely enjoyable.
It does take a bit of settling in to understand exactly what direction this new Holmes is going in, but it works thanks to RDJ and picks up as the mystery thickens and Holmes' limits are tested. McAdams' character lacks enough strength to stay memorable and as much as I like Strong, his character lacks dimension too. But the rebirth of Holmes will be a nice Holiday escape for the modern audience and those willing to keep an open mind. It's not your grandfather's "Sherlock Holmes" but can you think of any reason why it should be?
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The film was much worse than I could have imagined. I calculated they
wasted over 40 minutes in needless, and ridiculous, fight scenes. They
had no bearing on the outcome of the movie.
The film copied Indiana Jones in such capacity, I almost had to remind myself what film I was indeed viewing.
The dialog was terrible, often forced and brought the movie down to a snails pace. What exactly did people enjoy about this film? Probably the same people who loved the last Die Hard film, who just need a few explosions and knuckle sandwiches to get an A+ An enormous disappointment, I laughed out loud at all the predictable Guy Ritchie fight scenes and explosions, they were truly pathetic.
We have an updated Holmes character for a modern audience. I don't really have a problem with that, in fact I think it's necessary to make it connect with (some of) today's cinema-goers. The real thing that's wrong with this film in my opinion is the pacing. As the title says, it just plods along at the same speed throughout. The film looks great with some nice cinematography and strong production design and I didn't even mind the characters - most of them anyway - but the editing and music especially combine to create a final film that trundles along with absolutely no suspense, no intrigue and no mystery. I'm no expert on Holmes but from what I have read/seen these are pretty key. I just finished my third (maybe fourth) attempt at watching it all the way through... I don't remember how many because every time before now I fell asleep at around the same point (when the boat sinks after the fight with the big French guy). Today I still nodded off a couple of times but woke up in time to see the dull and uninteresting ending. From reading other reviews it seems this is very much a love it or hate it film. Such a shame because really it lies in the mediocrity of halfway on the scale.
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