Friday, December 25, 2009
Movie Reviews: SHERLOCK HOLMES
In a dynamic new portrayal of Arthur Conan Doyle's most famous characters, Sherlock Holmes and his stalwart partner Watson embark on their latest challenge. Revealing fighting skills as lethal as his legendary intellect, Holmes battles as never before to bring down a new nemesis and unravel a deadly plot that could destroy the country.
Cast: Robert Downey, Jr., Jude Law, Rachel McAdams, Mark Strong, Eddie Marsan, Kelly Reilly
Opened ..December 25, 2009..
Runtime: 2 hr. 14 min
Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of violence and action, some startling images and a scene of suggestive material.
Director: Guy Ritchie
Genres: Detective Film, Action, Mystery
Outside of general knowledge and a few episodes of Star Trek: The Next Generation, yes I’m that nerdy, I have no real knowledge of Sherlock Holmes or any connection to his literary incarnation. As a result, I was a blank slate for Guy Ritchie’s re-imagining of this iconic character and was met with mixed returns. Ritchie’s style and eye work just fine to give this version a visceral hook and freshness lacking form previous versions. He moves the film along at a brisk pace even if some portions feel like they could have been left on the cutting room floor. His biggest advantage is showcasing Downey and Law’s palatable on screen chemistry as Holmes and Watson. The two play off each other incredibly well and give the audience a real sense of their camaraderie. Downey, with an excellent British accent that borders on unintelligible at times, brings a fun bit of manic energy mixed with eccentricity all the while maintaining Holmes’s keen power of detection. He’s like an 18th century Batman sans the mask. Law’s work as Watson is a nice updated and he gives the character depth that isn’t written into the script. Eddie Marsan does strong work in a small role as Inspector Lestrade. Not faring nearly as well is Rachel McAdams and Mark Strong. McAdam’s feels miscast and her character isn’t really much use to the overall story aside from a movie long set up for a possible sequel. The script doesn’t do her character any favors; instead the romantic relationship feels forced and unconvincing. Mark Strong’s role suffers a similar fate as he isn’t required to do much except look villainous and utter dialogue in a monotone voice. Both roles are examples of the main issue with this film in general. The script is convoluted mess, the crux of the main mystery is something about a Masonic like group mixed with supernatural elements, and it’s not nearly as engrossing as it should be for its sometime laborious 2 hours plus runtime. The finale feels hallow as it seems more interested in setting up the sequel than wrapping up this film’s plot points. Even with these issues it’s a fun film that is saved by Downey and Law’s strong work.