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Sunday, December 6, 2009

Sherlock Holmes

(Guest Review by Russ)

Q: What’s the movie about?

A: Famed Scotland Yard detective Sherlock Holmes and his fearless partner Dr. Watson take on a baffling case that may threaten all of England.

Q: Who’s in the movie?

A: Robert Downey Jr., Jude Law, Rachel McAdams, Mark Strong, Kelly Reilly, Eddie Marsan, James Fox, Hans Matheson, William Hope, Robert Maillet

Q: Is this movie worth the price of admission?

A: PhotobucketGo! I’ll confess, I thought this movie would be terrible with fingers crossed that it would at least rise to the level of mediocre. Well surprise, it’s excellent! Whether he’s a billionaire in a red and yellow suit made of iron or blazing up a pipe as British sleuth Sherlock Holmes, Robert Downey Jr. continues to specialize in making his characters uniquely entertaining to watch. The film is as clever as Holmes himself, and has as much eye-popping action as any big summer blockbuster. Thank you Santa for delivering such stellar entertainment this holiday season. (In this case Santa = Warner Bros. Studios.)

Q: Will this movie make me laugh?

A: It stops just short of being an outright comedy, so expect plenty of non-stop chuckles throughout. Most are derived from the clever exchanges and emotional bond between Holmes (Downey Jr.) and Watson (Jude Law).

Q: Will this movie make me cry?

A: Well, I teared up a bit in the first ten minutes as the realization hit that the film was actually good (tears of joy, yes). Now you can go knowing that fact and not fearing a crying jag.

Q: Will this movie be up for any awards?

A: It’s escapist fun, so not really built for awards, but with that said, the production design, visual effects and costumes are off-the-charts fantastic.

Q: How is the Acting?

A: I never read any Sherlock Holmes books or paid attention to past films, so as far as I’m concerned Robert Downey Jr. makes a perfect Holmes in 2009. He’s clever, witty and an agile fighter so he has it going on in the hero department. My only quibble was that his (otherwise flawless) British accent was hard to understand at times. Jude Law is really really good as Dr. Watson, and his chemistry with Sherlock Holmes is way better and far sexier than the chemistry between Downey Jr. and Rachel McAdams. I know that seems gay, but the homoerotic underpinnings of Holmes’ and Watson’s relationship seems to have been done very much on purpose and it only makes the movie that much better and emotionally richer. Many of the supporting parts are peppered with director Guy Ritchie’s British favorites and they’re all clearly having a great time with their roles.

Q: How is the Directing?

A: Guy Ritchie has carved out a well-respected career with low-budget films such as Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, Snatch and the recent Rock-n-Rolla. So a big Hollywood studio finally gave him a big budget and franchise to see what he could do and personally I’m just happy that millions of new fans will now get to see his work. He keeps his trademark camera flourishes and style more under wraps here but overall the film is shot with loads of energy and visual creativity. It also looks gorgeous and even with a massive budget Ritchie still puts his personal stamp on it by laying a whole new twist on Holmes’ fight scenes. Ritchie has always had a particularly macho approach to filmmaking and the stories he tells, and that sensibility infuses Sherlock Holmes with more liveliness than it would otherwise have had. But within all that machismo is a sly sense of humor, inventive wit and amusing twists and turns that Ritchie has coalesced into a superior detective story.

Q: How is the story/script?

A: I was never expecting this version of Sherlock Holmes to be clever, but it is, and in a way that always makes sense and rarely loses the audience. Holmes has great fun being the ever-observant ‘savant’ – seeing clues that even modern-day CSI teams might miss – while still staying true to the period. The script also gives as much attention to its characters and humor as it does the story, which is another reason the entire film is so darn entertaining. The end – while completely satisfying – nicely sets up a sequel, which I already can’t wait to see. (Rumor has it Brad Pitt will play the bad guy; even better.)

Q: Where can I see the trailer?


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Andy80F said...

Holmes was not a Scotland Yard Detective. He is, most famously, the first "Consulting Detective" and whilst at times working closely with the police of Scotland Yard he was most certainly not a police detective.

Anonymous said...

True -- and another testament to this current version is that they make that point clear very early on. So true fans of Sherlock Holmes won't be disappointed where that's concerned.

But since he is so closely tied with the police detectives of Scotland Yard, I felt it prudent to make that association up front in this review for the more 'casual' fan of Sherlock Holmes. Even though it was not completely accurate.

But again, you're correct -- thanks.


Anonymous said...

What is the PG-13 rating for? My husband wants to take our 7- and 8-yo's but I'm not sure. It looks like a wonderful film! Thanks for the review!

Anonymous said...

In general I think it's fine for 7/8 year olds.

Bad language is not really an issue. There is a post-sex scene in which Holmes is handcuffed to the bed and had to be released, but it is played for comedy and there is no overt nudity. (And the sex scene occurs off screen.)

Beyond that, the PG13 rating is mostly for the fight scenes -- and those are no more brutal than a typical heavyweight boxing match.

Obviously any PG-13 rating is ultimately up to the parent. But SHERLOCK HOLMES overall seems like it would be fine for that age range. It deals with adult themes and the plot is rather adult, but kids will enjoy the humor and action sequences in my opinion.


hanum said...

I like this movie, really awesome, cool.