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Sherlock Holmes More at IMDbPro »

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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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4 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

19th century Ace Ventura with less energy

Author: breakdownthatfilm-blogspot-com from United States
21 July 2012

Although Sherlock Holmes is undeniably the best detective to be universally known, I should have known the updated film version would not have been as entertaining. I wanted it to be, the casting seemed to have picked the right actors, but instead the result was disheartening.

Robert Downey Jr. stars as the observant detective in a race to discover the plan of the evil Lord Blackwood (Mark Strong). No doubt does Downey Jr. give a convincing performance as Holmes but his execution is frustrating if not unconventional. Holmes' powers of deduction are quite impressive just like Ace Ventura, how he can ramble out various illustrations to how certain acts were performed but his means of communication are not what you would call crystal clear. Instead of hearing what Holmes had to say, I heard deep raspy monotone whispering with no change in pitch or annunciations. What did he say? Seriously.

The same goes for Downey's co-star Jude Law who plays Dr. John Watson. I did enjoy some of their exchanges but much of them were just based upon their facial expressions. Half the time I couldn't even tell what they were mumbling about. Another person that didn't really fit into place was Rachel McAdam's character of Irene Adler. The audience is told that she was once a love interest of Holmes. Okay, what happened? Why is she acting currently as a mole? What made her become the thing she is in this movie? No explanations were given.

The set designs were not that much of an eye-grabber either. I couldn't believe how colorless every scene looked. Grey, black, brown, some dark yellow, blue and red shades were the only things I caught a glimpse of. For the adventures Sherlock Holmes is known for, this adventure was not very colorful at all. And although this is an adventure film of some sort, I did not really appreciate for the action scenes. How could Sherlock Holmes, a man of the 1800s, receive martial arts training and no one else seem to know of it?

One of the few scenes I actually got a kick out of was when Holmes, Adler, and Watson were in the slaughterhouse. That was an intense moment but for the element of danger, not action. Lastly, the movie soundtrack is the most foreign I have ever heard of. Hans Zimmer, a well-known composer, I thought would have created music with little more panache but all I got instead was a bunch of weird guitar playing. Not cool Zimmer. Pretty lame if you ask me.

There's nothing wrong with the plot here, Robert Downey Jr. does have some good lines but it's hard to understand him half the time. It doesn't help that both the action and music are weird too.

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7 out of 10 people found the following review useful:

Was this Sherlock Holmes or Harry Potter?

Author: montferrato from Monaco
3 June 2010

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I do like Sherlock Holmes movies. I was quite thrilled, because a new movie about Sherlock is always a good thing. However, i must say i was quite disappointed with the result.

Why was i disappointed?

1. The plot is simple, the action is slow, and there is no intrigue or suspense whatsoever. You always know all the time who the bad guy is, and how things are going to develop. 2. The duo Law-Downey Jr. seems ineffective to me, and it is unable to transmit positive chemistry. 3. The Ninja abilities of Holmes and Watson are for children, or for brain-dead people. If you want to see this kind of action, it is better to watch a Bruce Lee, Jacky Chan or Chow Yoon Fat movie. 4. The Bad guy, Lord Blackwood, is very thin, does not transmit any fear whatsoever, and it is actually like a dummy. It looks like the bad guy of a Harry Potter movie for 7 year old children. It is in fact so bad that it makes no sense at all, and conveys very poor feelings. He is not a memorable villain, but a very weak villain in a ridiculous Harry Potter style. 5. The use of humor is also very childish and easy, for non intelligent people. 6. Secondary characters like Lord Coward are just pitiful clichés. 7. The use of satanism and black magic might be good for the plot. However, in this case looks more like a bunch of Harry Potter apprentices. The use of a book of spells(new age pseudo-witchcraft) is ridiculous. 8. To sum up, this is a very poorly designed movie, with a very bad plot, an uninteresting story, and grotesque characters. It is just a "harry potter" sherlock Holmes for children and not very intelligent people. However, i suppose that you can enjoy the movie if you are between 7-12 years old.

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12 out of 20 people found the following review useful:

Ghosts in the Machine

Author: tedg ( from Virginia Beach
26 December 2009

*** 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.

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3 out of 3 people found the following review useful:


Author: Jorn Truyen
1 August 2014

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

If you're looking for a witty, intelligent mystery film with an original plot, keep looking. Guy Richie's previous achievements with 'Snatch' and 'Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels' gave high expectations for his turn on the brilliant detective Sherlock Holmes and his assistant Dr. Watson. However, I was all in all disappointed by the film.

I'm not going to fully elaborate on the plot, but simply explained, Holmes (Robert Downey Jr) and Watson (Jude Law) seek to bring down the very evil, often irksome mysterious Lord Blackwood, portrayed by Mark Strong. Rachel McAdams plays a self-interested professional thief named Irene Adler.

When I think about the plot and the characters, trite is a word which comes to mind immediately. The film would have been forgettable altogether, if it wasn't for the witty performance of Robert Downey Jr. His wittiness and humour, already his trademark as an actor, stand out against Jude Law's dry seriousness. Rachel McAdams, when not in her typical romantic role, has difficulty establishing herself and adding a certain depth to her character. Further, the plot is made to look intricate but is actually rather dull and tiring, with a relatively predictable ending. However, visually the film is sometimes quite stunning. The beautiful cinematography shows London in the late 19th century, especially the unfinished London Tower Bridge is magical.

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3 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Sherlock Holmes...More Brawn Than Brain

Author: LeonLouisRicci from United States
20 December 2013

That Oxymoron can't be helped. With the popularity and Box-Office ringing that Comic-Book Movies (yes, Sherlock Holmes is a "Super-Hero", think Batman) it always brings up that tired but necessary Debate about the Reboot.

It is a decision that has to be made behind the Scenes at the Script and Conference level. The approach. It can be an intellectual decision having to do with a "fresh", new, look, or a re-energizing. But most often it is purely Commercial. The Number Crunchers are as important as the Writer and Director. Will it sell, and how well?

There's nothing wrong with a Profit. It makes everyone happy and finances Sequels and such. So the Purists be damned, shut up, see this thing made Godzillians. Of course they have to include enough elements of the Original Character to be at least recognizable.

After all, you can't garner interest in a Movie called Sherlock Holmes and have the "Worlds most famous consulting Detective" and have it take place on Zeta Reticuli. Although that could very well happen with Today's Self-Importance, so obvious in Filmmakers like Guy Ritchie and M. Knight Shyamalan, and Clint Eastwood, among others.

So here it is and we're stuck with it. It's not Bad, just disappointingly Average and if you take on an Icon like Sherlock Holmes, Batman or Superman, Average is just not going to cut it.

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