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Movie Review: Sherlock Holmes

Prinz Lee image

Prinz Lee wrote this review 6 years and 4 months ago

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Written 12/25/09

Detective Sherlock Holmes (Robert Downey, Jr.) is the most brilliant investigative mind in all of England, and despite his many irritating quirks, he always has the pragmatic and faithful Watson (Jude Law) at his back. Now, when a malicious mastermind begins to set in motion a plan that could threaten England's future, Holmes and Watson must not only show off their mental prowess, but also roll up their sleeves and throw a few punches in order to stay on top of the escalating crisis.

I don’t think other than “Empty Calories” is the only explanation I have for what the story represents. In the sense of action/adventure it's got it all and follows through with much anticipation regarding the typical (Good guy vs. Bad guy) challenges and chases, but other than that, I can't say there was much. I guess it dealt with not having much knowledge regarding the Sherlock Holmes stories or perhaps the fact that throughout the film I felt some kind of void in which I couldn't explain… either way, for me, it was like dipping into a bucket of popcorn and enjoying the psychological aspects of knowing I'll enjoy the taste and texture, but still feeling hungry and wondering. Nothing about this film tapped into any emotional state as I feel it's by far a major piece in a film. But that’s just me. Perhaps others feel different and well, that's what makes us individuals.

One thing that stood out was a certain character in the film (of whom I'll not unveil) was a complete waste of time. And - ah FUCK IT! "Mary" (played by Kelly Reilly - Watson's love interest) was a waste of oxygen, space, running time, production money etc. I sat there wondering over and over what purpose she served in the film. I think having edited her out (or even not having cast her) would have made the film at least 20 to 30 minutes shorter and to an extent a bit more pleasing. It wasn't anything she was doing as talent or character, it leaned more towards "Mary's" purpose in the film as a whole. To a certain point my best guess would be that it was some kind of favor for someone somewhere down the line as I personally know directors who have done that and will continue to do so.

Another interesting thing I realized in the film was the implication of a sequel. It was smeared subtly during the film and pretty much obvious during the last 10 to 15 minutes of the film. It seems as if they're trying to create some sort of franchise, but that remains to be seen as those with control whether that happens or not is you (or us).

But on a more positive note, the film isn't all just a mish mash of chases, explosions, sarcastic humor, and a world of wonders in an era with limited technologies, but a great sense of casting. Those involved with the casting of this film really did well with Downey, Jr., and Law. These two cats had an amazing chemistry together and it's pretty much what kept me interested. Their BROmance was pretty funny and worked out well. A lot of it I think tapped into a bit of homoerotic-like play, but it's a Guy Ritchie film, what else can we expect aside from his extended 2nd acts and hard-core British jargon. Don't get me wrong though, I thought it worked out well and quickly exposed two of our finest actors in a light that leaves one saying... "Oh I know why they're in Hollywood." I also found it pretty appealing that even though there wasn’t much to work on regarding story, character build-up was there.

The rest of the cast like "Lord Blackwood" (played by Mark Strong) and "Irene Adler" (played by Rachel McAdams) also did well and didn't over play anything presented to them.

I think summarizing ALL of them up, they did well and for sure brought forth a believable time period I've always wondered about... especially in a country like England.

Kudos for Ritchie on direction because it was his only bankable asset(s) with this particular film… Other than the stated, it's another one of his Euro-witty-rambling sort of film that can leave one a bit puzzled, but also enjoy as it's extremely open and blunt. If there's one thing about European films and directors to which I always enjoy is their lackluster of "Oh wait, this might offend so and so." Fuck all that bullshit -- lay down what's meant and forget the rest. Like "Snatch" and "Lock, Stock and two Broken Barrels" there's some kind of credit I must give him on this. It wasn't all a drag, but I'm willing to bet had it not been Downey, Jr. and Law starring in the film, he'd have issues selling it.

Visually "Sherlock Holmes" was pretty appealing. Something about that time period (Which was kind of Jack the Ripperish at the beginning) makes me want to go back in time and experience it. Really. I know - I know... sounds "gay," but I swear the way we live now versus the time during Sherlock Holmes's setting from clothing, to chariots and horses, to hair-styles and even language... I mean they sounded British, but you get my drift.

Overall the film is NOT ALL THAT, but if you're looking to immerse yourself within a nicely layered action/adventure comedic drama. Its okay... not bad and for sure you'll crack a chuckle. Downey, Jr. never fails to NOT entertain. Now if you're looking for something to open up to that'll drag your emotions and lure you into a world of mental captivity and leave the theater in awe... NOPE, this isn't it.

I never read any of the novels, but from what I've heard there's no relation whatsoever, but than again, what film is?



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