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111 out of 198 people found the following review useful:
Guy Ritchie takes great ingredients and bakes a turd pie., 26 December 2009

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

At face value, Sherlock Holmes should have been the must-see of 2010 - great cast in the shape of Jude Law and the currently unstoppable Robert Downey Jr, massive budget, big name director and a classic story.

In reality it fails, and fails badly.

My better half extended a theory which I think holds merit here: it feels as though somebody has written a really good story to prequel the Sherlock Holmes stories by Arthur Conan Doyle and presented it to a studio - who have promptly handed it to a hack screen-writer and a lacklustre director to make a shambles of.

The action scenes lack any feeling of authenticity or excitement, and that's pretty inexcusable in an action driven film with a cast of good actors. Had the film had a different director, I can't help feeling that it would have made an excellent, suspenseful story-driven feature. As it is, the action feels pasted-on and ruins the story.

*(slight) SPOILER ALERT* Holmes' trademark summing up and explanation at the end is perhaps the one enjoyable scene in the film, but is ruined by the constant foreshadowing of sequels to come. The whole film, in fact, feels like it's setting up its own sequel rather than trying to be a film in its own right - it just doesn't work! *ANOTHER (very slight) SPOILER ALERT* Mark Strong is the villain of the piece as Lord Blackwood - but the character is a hugely inferior copy of his role as Septimus in Stardust, right down to the thigh-length black leather jacket.

*ANOTHER (much bigger) SPOILER ALERT* Take a Dan Brown novel. Take all of the nonsensical plots about Illuminati and mystic orders. Superimpose it on top of an Arthur Conan Doyle novel. Voila - you've just made this film.

I spent the whole of this film waiting for it to become good. The cast were good, the original characters were good, the budget was good - the film, however, is atrocious.