Sunday, December 27, 2009

Sherlock Holmes Review

Hey kids, did ya know Sherlock Holmes occasionally dabbled with cocaine and heroin?

Back in the early eighties I used to watch the Adventures of Sherlock Holmes presented by Mystery on 13....yes PBS, laugh it up. But they were fun to watch, it wasn't till I was in high school that I began reading Arthur Conan Doyle's novels and discovered the character was even more fascinating...PBS never showed Holmes shooting up! Once I discovered the depth and intricacies of Sherlock Holmes I was hooked, how many detective characters are as unorthodox as Sherlock Holmes? I always enjoyed reading about his oddball methodology to solving crimes.

Guy Ritchie directed this "re-boot" of Arthur Conan Doyles master detective and I was pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed it.

Robert Downey Jr. plays Sherlock Holmes, initially I wasn't sold on the casting but Downey's been on a roll since Tropic Thunder in my opinion, and he didn't let me down in this. There were certain scenes where I felt RDJ took liberties with the character (silencer scene) but I went to the interwebs and did a little detective work of my own and I was wrong, Robert Downey Jr nailed the left-of-center, bohemian, hermit characteristics Arthur Conan Doyle built the character with perfectly. The scene where Watson drags Holms to meet Mary was another brilliant display of RDJ's knowledge of the character. It showcased Holmes lack of social skills but also how he narcistically touted his conclusions from the most miniscule hints. Regretibly I think the advertising totally missed the mark as most trailers focused on the action and that's not what a Sherlock Holmes story is about. A good example is the bare knuckle fight in the trailer, the point wasn't to show Holmes was a proficient fighter; which he was, but to give a glimpse into his methodology and how his problem solving skills were similar to how an engineer would solve a problem. Another impressive performance from Robert Downey Jr.!

Jude Law as Dr. Watson complemented Downey Jr's Holmes very well and the two really worked well together on screen. I didn't realize Jude Law had been in an episode of the Adventures of Sherlock Holmes so he was already familiar with material and seemed very comfortable in the role of Dr. Watson.

Rachel McAdams as Irene Adler fit in well as "the woman" in Sherlock Holmes life, she was convincing as a woman who could handle herself in the shadowy underworld of turn of the century England.

All in all an enjoyable movie that gives the ol' boy a shot in the arm of 21st century action which was definately not in the old Mystery! series. The sets were fantastic and really drew you into the story and assisted in defining the characters personalities. The mystery in Sherlock Holmes isn't who did it, but how is he (Lord Blackwell) doing it? It reminded me alot of The Prestige but not as good. The final confrontation between Blackwell and Holmes was a little Scooby doo in my opinion, I almost expected Blackwell to say "And I would've gotten away with it if it weren't for for you meddling kids and that dog off yours grumble grumble grumble".

Enjoyable but not memorable...

B