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"Sherlock Holmes" is a 2009 action film which was directed by Guy Ritchie, who has also directed such films as "Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels" (1998), "Snatch" (2000), and "RocknRolla" (2008).
Warning: Spoilers will likely be given during this review.
The film is 128 minutes in length and stars Robert Downey Jr. ("Iron Man", "The Avengers", "Weird Science") as Sherlock Holmes, Jude Law ("Enemy at the Gates", "Gattaca", "The Wisdom of Crocodiles") as Dr. John Watson, and Rachel McAdams ("Midnight in Paris", "Mean Girls", "The Vow") as Irene Adler.
The plot for the film reads as follows: Detective Sherlock Holmes and his stalwart partner Watson engage in a battle of wits and brawn with a nemesis whose plot is a threat to all of England.
When I think of Guy Ritchie, my thoughts immediately turn to Madonna, the 80s, and my youth. But beyond that, the ex-husband of the pop icon shot to directing fame two years before he married her with the iconic British film, "Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels". It is worth noting that apart from "Snatch" and "Mean Machine", the British-born Ritchie didn't really hit the limelight again until he was given the reigns for the "Sherlock Holmes" 'reboot', if you can call it a reboot.
The film was released on 25 December 2009 in the United States and was well-received at the Box Office, grossing an estimated $524 million, and was nominated for two Academy Awards in 2010; Hans Zimmer for Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, Original Score, and Sarah Greenwood & Katie Spencer for Best Achievement in Art Direction. The film spawned a sequel in 2011, "Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows" in which both Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law reprised their roles as Holmes and Watson. Is it any good? Let's find out!
The film starts out with an old London town fly-by before coming across a horse and cart, which had a troupe of police in it. Sherlock Holmes comes into view and enters a building. It is here where he first runs through a likely scenario in his head (which we see happen) and he begins to act it out for real, seconds later. He runs down an impressive stone spiral staircase where he meets John Watson at the bottom, and they both take care of a hooded figure's minions, before saving a girl from certain death. The figure turns out to be Lord Blackwood (Mark Strong), who is arrested by Inspector Lestrade (Eddie Marsan), where upon the opening credits roll.
This version of Sherlock Holmes is a fighter, more battle-hardened than any other before. He likes bare-knuckle boxing that is portrayed in a brutal scene, in which Holmes is taking a beating. He sees a beautiful woman in a red dress in the blood-thirsty crowd, and has the back of his hair spat on by his opponent. Another one of those slow-motion run through moments comes around again, and Holmes gets to work on taking out the man who decided to mess up his hair. The play-through scenes are frequent in the film, but I like the way they are done. They show the viewer exactly what happens, before it happens in real time. This gives the mind a chance to play along and live each moment.
The cinematography of the film is absolutely stunning in most parts, and the level of detail is rich. Those responsible took great care to recreate London in the late 1800s. I especially enjoyed a wide angle scene which showed Tower Bridge undergoing construction, and loved the imagery of the backstreets of Old London Town. I also enjoyed a scene by night where Holmes and Watson travel along the Thames by boat. I am sure some of it was CGI but it gives you a sense of transportation in the 19th century. Speaking of Tower Bridge, there is an excellent fight scene towards the end of the film which takes place on the unfinished upper level walkways, high above the river Thames.
There are, of course, small doses of comedic moments throughout the film, one such scene which involves Holmes and Watson who are on the trail of Lord Blackwood, upon which the latter taunts the pair. Holmes tells Watson to save bullets but moments later the sleuth gets a fright and empties his chamber Watson says "What was that about saving bullets?" Another funny scene was when a maid entered Holmes' room and began picking up clothes strewn across the floor. She is given a fright by what we see next - Holmes handcuffed to the bed, naked except for a pillow in the right place, upon which he says "Madam, I need you to remain calm, and trust me, I'm a professional. Beneath this pillow lies the key to my release." - to which the maid turns her nose up in disgust and runs out of the door.
One thing that did strike as odd to me was the attire of some of the characters. For instance, Holmes was seen to don a fedora or a flat cap instead of his trademark deerstalker hat. However, this is also true to form as far as the original novels are concerned, where Sir Arthur Conan Doyle never writes that Sherlock wears a deerstalker. Another thing of note was the way Irene Adler was dressed. For a woman in that timeframe, she would almost certainly have been dressed as a proper lady but instead she wore trousers held up with braces, and boots in a number of scenes. Watson, however, did dress the way I expected him to, as did Lestrade and Blackwood - the latter was immaculately dressed, just as you would expect with someone of nobility from that era.
It is said that Guy Ritchie thought Robert Downey Jr. was too old to play Sherlock Holmes, but he took to the part quite well, I thought. As an American actor, I thought that he pulled off the upper class English accent with ease - something which was helped with his role as Charlie Chaplin in 1992. It hasn't been an easy career for Downey Jr., but he has fought back from his drug and alcohol addictions to star in some of Hollywood's biggest films of the 2000s and beyond. Holmes is probably not the easiest character to play, given that it is one of the most famous film characters, but it seems as though Downey Jr. enjoys it more than most roles he's played, which makes it more evident after he once said, "I think me and Guy are well-suited to working together. The more I look into the books, the more fantastic it becomes. Holmes is such a weirdo."
I have always felt that Holmes should be somewhat taller than Watson, but Jude Law is a couple of inches taller than Robert Downey Jr. That does not take away from his performance as Dr. John Watson in the least, because he takes command with ease. Guy Ritchie had originally wanted Russell Crowe to play the part and it is believed that Colin Farrell was in talks with the producers before Law landed it. Having watched both this and the BBC serial, "Sherlock", it is difficult to choose between Jude Law and Martin Freeman as to who plays Watson the better. However, I do think Freeman just about edges it. That is not a knock on Law, I just slightly enjoyed the series more than the films. I am not sure about Crowe or Farrell in the role, though.
I have asked myself the question "is it a good film?" several times during the course of writing this review, and I have to reply that it is a good film but it's not a brilliant film. Of course, films of this genre will never be classed as brilliant, but you probably see where I'm coming from here. I enjoyed watching it, but I did think it was maybe 15 or 20 minutes too long, and would have been so much better if they had condensed it a little more, giving the viewer more of a thrilling ride instead of plodding along at times. Guy Ritchie has done a very good job here and the cast is strong. Some will like the film, the majority of people probably won't enjoy the Hollywood glitz which has been put on it by the studio responsible. Given the choice in the future, I don't think I would have bought it again, as it's one of those films which is okay to watch but I'd never consider having in my collection.
What the Critics Say
New York Daily News: "Downey has a winning take on Holmes: He's always on."
Boston Globe: "It pleases me to report, then, that Downey brings his brain, his wit, and his gift for intelligent underplaying, even as he understands he has been hired to play Sherlock Holmes, action hero."
Los Angeles Times: "There's a mystery at the heart of Sherlock Holmes, and it's not the one the great master of detection has been called on to solve. It's how a film that has so many good things going for it has turned out to be solid but not spectacular."
Austin Chronicle: "Here's hoping that younger members of the audience will seek out Conan Doyle's original stories to further explore Holmes' official amanuensis, Dr. John Watson, whose brilliant case studies regarding his friend, roommate, and fellow rationalist are the stuff dreams are made of."
Chicago Tribune: "It's a serious drag to see how Ritchie has turned Holmes and Dr. Watson into a couple of garden-variety thugs."
My rating: 7/10
I'll admit that I wasn't convinced about this prior to watching it, just because I wondered how any Hollywood take on Sherlock Holmes, something I wasn't particularly interested in, could be any good. I was very wrong, and I loved this film after the first 5 minutes.
Sherlock Holmes is such a renowned character and the tales are classic to the point that many people will already have ideas and images in their head of what to expect. I put mine aside because I wasn't very confident, or looking forward, to a modern version, and the character just didn't really appeal to me. The 2010 flick brings back to life Holmes, played wonderfully by Robert Downey Jr. and his trusty ally Watson (Jude Law) in a way that is both witty and comical, making it an entertaining watch.
I won't go in to the plot per se, except to say that the dextrous duo are attempting to solve a mystery amongst some vicious murders and foil a plot that has the potential to destroy the country. With a mixture of weaponry, fighting and mystery, the plot is uncovered, more characters are woven in to the web, and more secrets unfold.
What I really liked about this was the overall feel to the film, one that was constructed by the script, the actors, the vivid scenery and the obvious time, effort and money invested in the movie to make it such good quality. It did feel dark and gritty, yet mysterious with a sense of suspense and tension as you want to learn more, to find out what's going to happen next. The best bit is how they managed to balance this with the sense of smarminess and yet lovable wit and sarcasm from Downey, who I admit I will be biased towards because I think he could make almost any film watchable. He was able to lighten things up, yet at the same time make events serious and intelligent when required, providing a good balance and framework to the film which set it in good standing as one that requires attention when watching without straining your brain too far.
The film is intelligently done, and seems to flow quite smoothly, perhaps partly thanks to the directing expertise of Guy Ritchie. What did let it down slightly, I felt, was a slight lack of character development in some parts. Not all characters seemed as well formed or as well connected, and thus were less memorable. Holmes and Watson obviously stood out as the central characters, but other roles could have, at times, been a little stronger to beef up the web of characters slightly.
I wasn't convinced about Law playing Watson, but he was surprisingly not as irritating as I thought he may have been. Again, he plays the role well and is a good fit with Downey, who seems to carry the storyline through from his own sheer charisma and cheekiness.
Overall I would recommend this. It's interesting yet entertaining, and fans of Downey definitely shouldn't be disappointed. This is one that should be watched to form you own opinion, but for me, I found this to be a really enjoyable flick with a strong cast.
DVD released 2010, rated Certificate 12.
Selling on Amazon for £4.97.
Sherlock Holmes (Robert Downey Jr.) and a reluctant Dr. Watson (Jude Law) take on a case involving Lord Blackwood (Mark Strong) who makes a miraculous return from the dead by using black magic. Holmes and Watson must overcome Blackwood or London will perish.
Directed by Guy Ritchie (Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels), written by Michael Robert Johnson, Anthony Peckham (Don't Say a Word) and Simon Kinberg (X-Men: The Last Stand).
Based on the characters created by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.
Guy Ritchie takes a step away from his usual gangster movies into this family friendly Hollywood blockbuster. I enjoyed his style however I do think there was too much reliance on CGI throughout which took away from the visual impact; the use of green screen was a little too obvious at times.
The plot is a little drawn out, the movie is a little over 2 hours but it feels more like 3. There are quite a few action scenes in the film but the bits in between are slow moving. The dialogue seemed to be written for younger members of the audience, the witticisms were rather poor in my opinion. To be honest, I struggled to hear what was being said a lot of the time as the cast whisper a lot. I turned the volume up but the background music was loud, it was just the speech which was low. This might just be my ears but it got annoying fast, just speak normally please!
The action scenes were impressive (except for the excessive use of CGI as previously mentioned), I particularly enjoyed the fight scenes that were shown in slow motion with Holmes narrating the effect of every hit. Having said that, I don't think they needed to then repeat the fight scene without the narration.
The cast is a bit hit and miss for me. Robert Downey Jr. (Iron Man) gets to play his usual eccentric yet genius character as Sherlock Holmes. He has great screen presence and overshadows Jude Law by a long way in my opinion. I find Law (Alfie) rather boring, yes his character isn't as interesting as Holmes on paper but he could bring some life to the role. The movie invests a lot of time in the relationship between the two and I know it is what many people like about the film but for me it wasn't that interesting.
Support comes in the form of Rachel McAdams (The Notebook) who plays Holmes' love interest Irene Adler. Bit of an odd choice in casting, McAdams and Downey Jr. aren't a convincing couple. I'm usually a fan of McAdams but I found her performance a bit lacklustre in this movie, it didn't really seem like her heart was in it.
Mark Strong (RocknRolla) is the evil Lord Blackwood; Strong has played the villain role a lot in his career. He has a creepy demeanor and deep English voice which makes him the perfect choice as a baddie for Hollywood movies. Strong was certainly believable in the role and did a decent job.
Overall, I don't really understand the fuss around this movie. Whilst Downey Jr. is great, the writing isn't anything special and the overuse of green screen ruins the movie for me. I'm not sure if I'll be giving the second movie in this franchise a watch or not. I definitely won't be watching this again, give it a miss.
Sherlock Holmes: Reinvented
Making of featurette lasting about 15 minutes; includes interviews with the stars of the movies and the people behind the camera. Not particularly interesting.
Only one extra is a bit poor, although I'm not a big fan of extras they are expected nowadays. I would have at least expected some deleted scenes, maybe a commentary.
Robert Downey Jr. - Sherlock Holmes
Jude Law - Dr. John Watson
Rachel McAdams - Irene Adler
Mark Strong - Lord Blackwood
Eddie Marsan - Inspector Lestrade
Also posted on ciao under the username shabbating.
In cock-er-nay gangster flick director and Madonna-fan Guy Ritchie's Hollywood debut, brilliant detective Sherlock Holmes (Robert Downey Jr) and his crime-solving partner, Doctor Watson (Jude Law), apprehend the infamous Lord Blackwood (Mark Strong) for practising the dark arts. Blackwood is hanged, only to later rise from the grave, prompting an investigation by Holmes that takes in corrupt politicians, shoehorned-in-Hollywood-love-interest Irene Adler (Rachel McAdams) and a mysterious underground society...
Brit Mark Strong is obviously one of the names on top of Hollywood's speed-dial-a-villain list: in the last five years, he's been the bad guy in Syriana, Stardust, Sunshine, Tristan & Isolde and The Young Victoria, with a couple more chucked in for good luck with Kick-Ass and Robin Hood. And why not? He's one of the best at it - when he threatens to cut off George Clooney's head in Syriana, you know he means it.
In Sherlock Holmes, as power-hungry loon Blackwood, he's on autopilot. But for Strong, that's not the worst thing in the world - he can do sinister in his sleep and, as always, he's one of the best things in the film. Downey Jr is the same, doing what he does best: be himself (albeit with a plummy English accent). His on-screen beau, the usually reliable Rachel McAdams, is another of the cast phoning in a performance, but, unlike the aforementioned, she is woefully flat - Downey Jr at least brings his effortless charisma to the role.
Here, however, it's up to Jude Law to be the standout. It's hard to believe that a man known almost entirely for his hairline, bedding women and spreading his seed over Europe can actually act. But look at past evidence: in Gattaca, I Heart Huckabees, Road to Perdition and The Talented Mr Ripley (still his best work yet), he was outstanding. As Watson, he is the straight man foil to the eccentric Holmes, bringing him, and the duo's odd-couple relationship, to life.
So Ritchie has got a reliable cast (for the most part), his own not-insignificant directing style and a jaunty little Hans Zimmer score secure on Sherlock Holmes. Where the film falls down, unfortunately, is in the script department. Any 'peril' is of the bog-standard, predictable variety. Amidst all the fighting with large men and black magic shenanigans, you never fear that Holmes or Watson are in much trouble. A tense abattoir scene aside, there is no real sense of danger here.
The script's saving grace is its envisioning of Sherlock Holmes as something of a buddy movie, but even that feels underdeveloped. Much of the film sees Holmes trying to sabotage Watson's engagement to Kelly Reilly's Mary, and I spent its entirety wishing he'd succeed. There's nothing wrong with the ever-dependable Reilly, it's just that the film sparks into glorious life whenever Downey Jr and Law are together on screen, bickering like an old married couple as they sink further into trouble.
It's because of this relationship that the film works so well - there are some decent action sequences, the best of which is a Thames-side scrap between Holmes, Watson and what can only be described as a human giant - but the best moments are the lighter ones, those that showcase the squabbling comedy duo of Holmes and Watson. I can only hope Watson and Mary get a divorce between this film and its sequel - things wouldn't be half as interesting without the central dynamic between the detective and the Doctor.
Sherlock Holmes is far from perfect. The movie is too long and takes some time to kick in to gear, but Downey Jr and Law make for an inspired pairing and Guy Ritchie has clearly found his calling. His glossy visual style never sat right with those dodgy scripts of his - directing blockbusters written by someone else suits him much better. Ritchie has always been a classy visualist, which he displays well here - I just pray they give him a better script next time.
Having recently watched and thoroughly enjoyed the BBC series of Sherlock it reminded me that I still hadn't seen Guy Ritchie's version of London's most famous detective. Coupled with that the casting of Robert Downey Jr in the lead role it was a bit of a surprise and so when it finally came through from Lovefilm this week I was very keen to sit down and see how it panned out. Despite enjoying Downey Jr in almost every movie he's done recently I was also a little suspicious how he, as an American could pull off Sherlock Holmes and thankfully I was pleasantly surprised.
What's It All About
Having finally caught a Serial Killer and seen him sentence to death Sherlock Holmes has taken a bit of a break. His assistant and long term companion Watson is moving out of their Baker Street address to get married and Holmes isn't really sure what to do with himself. When the Killer rises from the dead and begins a dastardly plot to take over as the ruler of England, Holmes finds himself rushing back to work to stop Lord Blackwood before he can progress his evil plans any further. To complicate matters even more the one mystery Holmes can't solve, Irene Adler is back on the scene and seems to have an interest too, but can Holmes stop Blackwood and protect Adler at the same time.
All Action Holmes
The mere fact that Guy Ritchie was involved made me realise that this would be a little different to your average Sherlock Holmes movie. The Snatch and Lock Stock director has really added his unique style to the Holmes legacy and it would be fair to say it is a welcome addition. The movie does have a rather dark feel to it and this is enhanced by Ritchie's attention to detail and use of lighting. He creates very atmospheric scenes and with the majority of the story happening at night it adds a slightly more sinister dimension to the tale of London's best detective.
The plot really suits Ritchie's style as a director and whilst the opening half an hour is a little confusing at times and dare I say a touch slow it does really take off without any warning. Once the case begins to build an explanation for the earlier scenes becomes apparent and like any good adventure mystery things start to slide into place. It's a very well written plot that suited Ritchie's style and vision and for that reason it worked rather well. It does start slowly but that is soon forgotten and the plot really appealed to me and held my interest after the opening exchanges.
Perhaps my biggest concern before I watched this incarnation of Holmes was the casting of Downey Jt. I really rate him as an actor and leading man but as an American cast in a British role I just wasn't confident how well he would fit into my ideal version of Sherlock. Thankfully he proved early on that he was more than capable of filling the boots of Arthur Conan Doyle's beloved fictional character. I also felt that the casting of Jude Law as Watson worked really well and the pair really had a good dynamic on screen. They worked really well together and created a Watson and Holmes partnership that will work in future movies as well as this one.
In the role of Lord Blackwood I felt that Mark Strong was a perfect choice. Whilst Downey Jr performed the odd quirks of Holmes well it was the darker side of Blackwood that Strong really managed to perfection. He had a real menacing screen presence that really added well to the darker side of the character and created a very formidable opponent for Holmes. The casting of Rachel McAdams as Irene Adler also worked really well and with a rather attractive dark side to her, the fact that she has this mysterious and yet sexy side make sit obvious why Holmes can't resist her and more importantly it really seems like there is a sexual chemistry between her and Downey Jr. the casting works well and I really feel that Ritchie got the mix and the roles just right.
Cracking The Film
I'll admit that I did have a few concerns about this movie when I first heard about it. Given Guy Ritchie's previous movie's that was a real cause for concern but he's done a magnificent job with Sherlock Holmes. The film has a very dark feel to it but the story keeps moving and other than a slow and confusing opening it does work really well. At just over 2 hours it was imperative that the plot and casting worked and I was really pleased that it did. The second movie in this franchise has already been announced and if it's half as good as this one turned out to be it will be worth seeing. I have to be honest and say I am delighted to recommend this as a very enjoyable 128 minutes of entertainment.
Lord Blackwood, serial killer and black occultist, has finally been brought to justice. Returning from the grave only gives more weight to his already potent reputation, as well as his ominous predictions of what is to yet to come. Yet, Sherlock Holmes seems too preoccupied with the imminent loss of his life-long bachelor friend and valued assistant, Dr. Watson, to act effectively against Blackwood's schemes.
Love seems to be the only thing to truly confound and successfully elude Holmes in life. Therefore, he seems determined to save his best friend and compatriot, Watson, from his own impending marriage at any cost. The reappearance of Irene Adler, Holmes' own romantic muse, only adds fuel to this fire while further distracting him from the convoluted plots of Blackwood and his various underlings.
Will the call of the hunt cost Watson his domestic happiness? Has the infamously eccentric sleuth finally gone over the edge of reason for good? Can Holmes come to terms with the distressing changes in his vital relationship with Watson before Blackwood pulls off his latest plans for domination? The game is afoot, but it seems our favorite players may be dangerously disconcerted!
Irene: "Why are you always so suspicious?"
Sherlock: "Should I answer chronologically or alphabetically?"
I ask myself three things after watching any film. 1. Was I entertained? 2. Was I given something entirely new, or thought provoking to enjoy? and 3. Did the film live up to its potential? That last is perhaps the trickiest bit, and I do allow a fair bit of leeway when considering that topic, especially when the film is based on a favorite book or fictional character. Boredom, impatience with pacing or character elements, too many loose ends, or requiring too many leaps of faith are all signs of unfulfilled potential. In the case of Sherlock Holmes, I was entertained on a variety of levels, and walked away from the film with the same satisfied contentment one finds at the end of a good meal.
The action and fight sequences here were highly entertaining, fairly complex, and delivered in a unique manner that highlights the quirky personality of the infamous Sherlock Holmes. This film does a very good job of displaying Holmes' accelerated multi-tasking style of thought, his less constructive addictions, and his social ineptitude. These are not popular aspects of this hero, but they are most certainly an integral part of his make-up and help to make him fallibly human.
Holmes' is most often depicted as a thoroughly competent and self-assured figure. Here, audiences can see a Holmes that is uncertain, ambivalent, childishly petty, manipulative and selfish in his perceived loss of Watson, his only trusted companion. His arrogance here actually helps to humanize him, and provides several comedic moments rather than fashioning a cold and distant Holmes. In this film, we can see why Holmes relies so much upon Watson; not just for the commonplace support of trusted back up in difficult situations, but as his only successful link to Humanity at large.
Throughout this personal struggle, further complicated by the reappearance of his own disastrous love interest, we are given trademark Holmes deductive reasoning that is certain to unravel the convoluted plots of our villain eventually. The fun is watching how it all plays out! Usually we are shown only the positive side of this character with perhaps glimpses of his melancholy or general eccentricity.
I enjoyed this focus on his imperfections, especially his social ineptitude. There is so much to admire in the character of Sherlock Holmes that it seems easy to overlook his failings. The reference to his drug use is a rather quiet reminder from Watson that what he is drinking is meant for use during delicate eye surgeries, not recreational consumption. The good Doctor is not at all shy about putting Holmes in his place though, when the situation calls for it! Watson is presented in an interesting fashion where we can see not only his unfailing admiration of Holmes' brilliance, but also his impatience with Holmes' manipulations and his brotherly devotion that allows him an easy comradery as well as admonitions, ribbings, and the occasional pummeling.
So often we are presented with a Watson that is simple, slavishly devoted, ineptly amusing, or downright unattractive in his own right. This more forceful Watson is far more believable as Holmes' trusted associate, especially during this difficult transition period from bachelor to husband. A difficult time for Watson, Holmes and Mary, Watson's beloved, I was also impressed with how well Mary (Kelly Reilly) establishes her own strength of character amidst the dominant egos of Watson and Holmes in the time given.
I feel we were given a nice balance between action and thought throughout the story. Supporting cast is seamless. Settings and costuming are solid and wonderfully supportive. Certain cliche Holmes icons, like his deerstalker or "Elementary, Dear Watson", have been deliberately avoided, but we are given an excellent mix between artistic license and tradition.
For example, Holmes' excellent but seldom needed fighting ability is displayed well. Although the fighting style used does not match that of Arthur Conan Doyle's character (Holmes' Baritsu vs. Downey's Wing-Chun Kung Fu), they also give viewers a clear understanding of how Holme's vast intellect also figures into his fighting success. The character of Irene Adler (Rachel McAdams) appears only once in the written works without any great detail, but her expansion here makes sense and supports both story and main characters well. Her relationship with Holmes brings new light to the character. We can easily see that in the ways that count most, Holmes and Watson are married to each other which makes it next to impossible for anyone else to have a successful relationship with either.
We are given a date of Friday, November 19, 1891 as a reference point. Holmes' aficionados will know that these events would therefore be taking place during a period where he was presumed dead and not publicly active in the written works. In my opinion, the excellent cast, director Guy Ritchie, writers Michael Robert Jordan, Anthony Peckham, Simon Kinberg, and Lionel Wigram, and the extended crew made excellent use of the film's 128 minute run time.
I appreciated the many subtle references to Doyle's much beloved written works while enjoying the fresh approaches the film takes in presenting these enduringly admired characters. There is a lively humor and underlying passion injected that brings a new life and dimension to both Holmes and Watson. The "mystery" aspect is not the focus here, and you'll be disappointed if that is what you are looking for, as we the viewers can see quite well where things are going to go. This is an action/adventure tale paying homage to the immortal Sherlock Holmes. While I enjoyed this interesting view of Holmes and Watson, I can also see where it would not appeal to every viewer.
I look forward to the as yet untitled sequel due out around December of 2011 which will introduce both Mycroft, Sherlock's brother (Stephen Fry), and arnemisis, Moriarty (Jared Harris). With proper development, a focused attention to detail, and greater attention paid to delivering a more challenging storyline, this could become a wonderful beginning to a great trilogy.
"Depend upon it, there comes a time when for every addition of knowledge, you forget something that you knew before. It is of the highest importance, therefore, not to have useless facts elbowing out the useful ones." ~ Arthur Conan Doyle
Sherlock Holmes is on a roll when he and his side kick Dr Watson finally bring down serial killer Lord Blackwood. In doing so they uncover some very dark magic. Holmes starts to take a downward turn and spends all his time in his room trying to invent new gadgets and weapons. He makes an appearance though when called as the last request by Blackwood to the prison where he is being held before his hanging. Blackwood tells Holmes that he is in over his head and there will be further killings before his task is complete and that he will not be able to stop them.
Holmes thinks it is all over when Blackwood is hung and buried but unbelievably he comes back from the dead and starts to wreak havoc over London. Holmes and Watson are back on the case and they soon discover the use of Black magic and dark times ahead. Can they work together to stop Blackwood and the predicted murders before it is too late and can London be saved?
The main reason for me wanting to watch this film is the two lead actors, I had expected it to be good juts on their strength but it still managed to surprise me. I have never seen anything to do with Sherlock Holmes and the story did surprise me. I was not expecting the use of black magic and so much darkness and for me it made for interesting and at times edge of the seat viewing.
The acting from all involved was faultless, Robert Downey Jr took the lead role of Sherlock Holmes and he was excellent. I loved the way he came across as eccentric yet he was so cleaver and experienced at his job. He showed great intelligence when I was least expecting it and this was shown in a great way. He did manage to add a lot of wit and humour to the role and this was needed as it took away the more seriousness of the character. I did have the feeling at times that he needed a good shave and bath but this did add to his eccentric and strange look. He worked very well with Jude Law who played Dr Watson and they had a fantastic on screen chemistry which seemed so natural. They bounced off each other with ease and seemed more like brothers than just friends. Jude Law was also superb in his role and came across as very different from Holmes. He was able to bring some depth to his character with the inclusion of the fiancé and this was good. He showed great intelligence and strength with the way he handled himself on screen. The British accent was natural from Jude as he is British and I also felt the accent Downy Jr gave Holmes was very good.
We has a lot of great supporting actors in the film and the one which really stood out for me was the role of Lord Blackwood, he was played by Mark Strong. He was powerful whenever on screen and he gave a constant air of mystery to his character. He looked evil and powerful all in one and there were times when he did actually make me jump when he would just appear on screen. We also had good roles from Rachael McAdam, Eddie Marsen, Hans Matheson and James Fox. They all played a variety of different characters and they did give the film a little bit of depth.
The film is a mystery and crime one but there was just the right mix of these elements, there were times when I thought the story was getting a little far fetched but Holmes or Watson would give us one of their witty one liners and this would bring the film back down to Earth and make it seem more real. The humour is not over the top and there certainly are no laugh out loud moments. I found the way Holmes spoke to and treated some of the police officers to be the best an funniest of the film.
The film is packed full of special effects and CGI which I found to all be of a very high standard. The fighting scenes were superb and looked so real, both me and hubby winced at some of the punches being delivered. There were a few scenes towards the end of the film when we did notice some added backdrops but we did not let this put us off as we had enjoyed the film so much we overlooked it. The props and sets which were used were also very good and very inking with the year and feel of the film. I thought the way London was shown back in the early 1900's to be interesting but very dull, there was a distinct lack of brightness and colour. Everywhere seemed so dull and grey. The costumes were also very good and fitting for the film.
The music throughout the film really did help with the feel and emotions of the story. At times it was quite light and happy but then in the next scene it would become very dark and powerful. I really did enjoy the soundtrack and though a lot of effort and time must have gone into making it work as well as it did.
The DVD which we have does not have any bonus features but this is no loss to me as I am not a fan of them anyway. The DVD can be bought now for just £7 in Tesco and I think this is a very good price for such a great film. The running time is 123 minutes and the rate is a 12A, I agree with the rate due to the nature of the story and there is some violence.
I am more than happy to give this film the full 5 stars despite the few weak backdrops towards the end of the film. The acting is of a high standard and so to is the story. I would highly recommend this film to all who like a film with a good story which is packed full of action and wit.
RuN-Time 105 minutes
Rated - PG13
Suited - Older kids and families
Star - Robert Downey Junior and Jude Law
For some reason the legal rites on Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes character were allowed to lapse in the United Kingdom and so anybody could write a book or make a film about the Holmes books without asking the Conan Doyle family. The rites were recovered in the US first but; rather ironically, the this is the first Sherlock Holmes film to reach American cinemas since the Michael Caine one, who the co-star of this version, Jude Law, still thinks he is and so keeps remaking and starring in films Caine has already done, Sleuth and Alfie to name two more. Law is one seriously overrated actor guys!
The temptation to cash in on our Sherlock is always there and with CGI allowing times of old to be magically recreated on the blue screen then why not. The question is could Guy Ritchie, a rather intriguing choice to direct here, add anything to the character that hasn't gone before and furthermore could he do better than the excellent TV series with Benedict Cumberbatch, the best TV drama of the year so far.
Selecting the colourful bad boy American Robert Downey Junior to play Holmes seemed an odd choice, especially in what is very physically demanding movie, this very much a stunt packed action affair over a slow paced, pipe smoking costume detective tale. I do like RDJ though and as phlegmatic and intelligent as he is on screen he wouldn't have taken this on if he didn't feel he could do it, very much the thinking girls Johnny Depp. According to Imdb.com he is well trained in various martial arts and when the shirt came off the girls did gasp.
Robert Downey Jr. ... Sherlock Holmes
Jude Law ... Dr. John Watson
Rachel McAdams ... Irene Adler
Mark Strong ... Lord Blackwood
Eddie Marsan ... Inspector Lestrade
Robert Maillet ... Dredger
Geraldine James ... Mrs. Hudson
Kelly Reilly ... Mary Morstan
William Houston ... Constable Clark
Hans Matheson ... Lord Coward
James Fox ... Sir Thomas Rotheram
William Hope ... Ambassador Standish
After some early scene-setting to let you know Holmes is going to be very physical and more James Bond than Morse in this movie we are quickly into the plot and characterisations, Holmes and Dr Watson (Jude Law) on the scene just in time to stop the ritual sacrifice of a beautiful young woman, Hammer House style, a devious cape wearing man called Lord Blackwood (Mark Strong's third time with Ritchie) holding the dagger. Sentenced to death by hanging, Blackwood somehow doesn't die, escaping the noose and then the morgue after being certified dead by Watson, free to continue his meticulous killing spree in the shadows of London's darker streets.
After a three month hiatus Holmes is back on the case, his forensic nose and well known skills of deduction quickly gathering vital clues, a mythical Freemason's style secret society at the heart of the conspiracy. And so enter the films token totty in Irene Adler (Rachel McAdams), an ex lady friend of Holmes, it seems, she too a sleuth of sorts, but unclear on which side she is pulling for. As important people begin to die it becomes clear to the scatty Holmes and ordered Watson that big evil plans are a foot and the very fabric of the country is threatened by a malevolent force, a plan so ghastly and devilish that even Holmes is flummoxed at who is really behind it.
Before the scene where Sherlock Holmes reenacts the black magic ceremony, we see a brief shot of an Inn called The Punch Bowl. The Punch Bowl is the name of Guy Ritchie's pub in Mayfair, London.
Although a little too CGI and frantic at times its ok, perhaps aimed at a younger audience, no real in-jokes and clever scripting to get mum and dad interested. With the perpetual subtle suggestion in all the Sherlock Holmes movies and books that they are indeed a couple of 'screamers', living together in their Baker Street Batchelor pad, Rachael Adams is the needed siren to keep that idea at bay, but that suggested sexual ambiguity always adding to the films comedy potential for me.
Jude Law is predictable as ever as Dr Watson, more Captain Darling than Holmes is number two, always 'hamming' away behind his bristling moustache. Rob Downey-Junior is always Mr Charisma on film and an interesting actor to boot, his vulnerable 5, 8 inches stature not short by far on screen, a very cheeky grinned energetic performance driving the film along at an excellent pace.
The negative is it is very bluescreen CGI and nearly everything you see is recreated with special effects, which works to a point but never really atmospheric of the London we know then. Fair play to Guy Ritchie for dabbling in a new genre and pulling this off surprisingly well but don't expect a four star movie, very much box-ticking cinema to appeal to the widest possible audience to make its money back, which it did with ease, the 8th highest grossing movie of 2009 and the 4th highest ever opening weekend box-office at $62.4 dollars, and doing all that in the same month of Avatars release. All you can say is well done Guy Ritchie and RDJ. Expect Guy to be offered to direct Bond one day spoon.
Imdb.com - 7.5/10.0 (93, 928 votes)
Rottontomatos.com - 70% approval
Metacritc.com - 60% approval rating
= = = Special Features = = =
Sherlock Holmes: Reinvented
Behind the scenes fluff as Ritchie and RDJ talk about the new younger Holmes and the reason why they went for the action genre with the world's most famous sleuth.
= = = = = = = = = = = = = = =
Sherlock Holmes was released in 2009 and was directed by Guy Ritchie.
Robert Downey Jr plays Sherlock Holmes and Jude Law plays Watson is this fresh new approach to one of the worlds most famous detectives. This is a great and doesn't do anything to detract from the Sherlock Holmes of old which is great. Here he is depicted as younger than the previous adaptions of the books.
Set in dark1891 London we first find Holmes catching the serial killer Lord Blackwood, who specializes in black magic. Blackwood (Mark Strong) is sentenced to death by hanging but tells Holmes that 3 more people will die. He then hangs and they close the case.
However Blackwood rises from the grave and continues his murder spree and its now a race against time to stop Blackwood's scheme. All this while Holme's deals with Watson's finance, inspector Lestrade and the return of Irene Adler - whom he doesn't know which side shes on.
The film's fresh look and feel works really well here. It is action packed but with a sense of humour. Robert Downey Jr is fantastic as Sherlock Holmes and really brings Holmes to life with a mixture a mixture of humour, eccentricity and single-mindedness. The relationship of Holmes and Watson , depicted as an action hero, is fantastic here and the highlight of the film for me. There are plenty of fantastic action scenes here which are great but wouldn't work nearly as well without the two leads (better than the TV series in my opinion). Mark strong is excellent as Lord Blackwood and plays the part really well. My only issue is that the relationship between Adler and Holmes has no real spark.
Overall this is a great reinvention of Sherlock Holmes and well worth watching.
Sherlock Holmes is a genre which I've been a fan off since I was a young boy, I think the way the short stories are written using the analytical skills of the great detective always appealed to me and the original 40 or so short stories are amongst my favourites. I also grew up watching Jeremy Brett's masterful display of the great detective in the ITV adaptation in the 80's, he is and always will be closest to the detective we find in the short stories. I always groan when I see a Holmes with a deerstalker and saying elementary my dear Watson, a saying he very rarely says.
So when the trailers for Holmes was shown in the cinema's I had reservations, it appeared to cast Holmes as an adventurer rather than a thinker and had a more guns and explosions approach than insightful analysis.
Due to the fact I have two small children I never got chance to watch the film at the cinema and only managed to see the DVD version last weekend, so it was with a sense of trepidation I watched the latest version of the great mans work.
Holmes is set in Victorian London in and around 1891, the London we find is a dark and wet place filled with endless construction as the city is converted to the new age of trains, sanitation and world commerce. So here we find that the Tower Bridge is being finished and Holmes is in the depths of a depression after a lack of interesting cases.
The film starts with the capture of Lord Blackwood who wanted to sacrifice a girl on an altar as a culmination of a black arts ceremony. Blackwood is captured and in the next three months nothing excites Holmes so we encounter a bored and disparate Holmes (Robert Downey jnr) who is pulled out of his lodgings by Dr. Watson (Jude Law). The film starts in earnest by the arrival of Irene Adler (Rachel McAdams) who is on a mission from a mysterious Professor. Holmes is asked to find a man named Reordan who has information about Blackwood's activities.
So the film begins, the slightly neurotic psychotic Holmes bounces between underground boxing matches, fine restaurants and being blindfolded to the underground room of a kind of Masonic lodge. The overall feeling is frenetic, the film casts Holmes as a kind of one man whirlwind, all that he touches descends into chaos. Robert Downey Jnr is of course perfect for showing Holmes' neurotic side but perhaps doesn't give full flavour to the detectives analytical precise mind and there is little or no representative of his scientific predilections beyond a couple of flasks in his room.
Jude law plays a more roguish ladies man version of Watson then the one found in the novels, he's good looking, is good with a cane and revolver and has a fabulous moustache. He is also more hands on that Watson in the stories and a lot more aggressive at least he's not the barely intelligible Nigel Bruce version we find in the Rathbone films.
Rachel McAdams plays a decent Irene Adler all sexy glances and plays the femme fatale in the style reminiscent of the Adler in the Scandal of Bohemia in which we meet her in the books. McAdams is of course gorgeous and looks good in petticoats and long dresses.
The story then progresses in a satisfying mix of adventure and investigations, we progress through the case through Holmes' eye rather than Watson as found in the novels. The storyline is a decent one and has a reasonable level of classic Holmes and a bit of new direction, the classic ACD novels start and finish at 221b Baker Street usually with the arrival and departure of a client or criminal. Away from the dark streets of London, the rooms of Holmes and Watson remained unchanged so the stories always exhibit away from their lodgings in the dark city outside.
This film takes Holmes out of his rooms and into the city of London, in it he encounters high society, powerful politicians and dark magic. Thankfully the outcome of the case isn't reliant on the use of magic and the way Holmes solves the case is very reminiscent of the original stories.
In general, new visions for old favourites work when the story behind it is a decent one and this film has a good screen play. After the initial scenes in which Guy Ritchie once again plays with time lapse photography and clever angles he settles down to using the camera to show Holmes in the late Victorian period. He also has some cracking explosions and utilises the building of Tower Bridge in interesting ways.
Overall, after much worry the film is enjoyable and a decent new version for Sherlock Holmes fans so let's hope there are plans for a sequel.
- Nothing Escapes Him -
This week i had the chance to finally sit down and watch the newest version of Sherlock Holmes. I wanted to see this when it was out lat year in the cinema , but forgot about it. My boyfriend had the DVD, so we sat down monday night and put it on. I am not really a huge fan of Sherlock Holmes, but i quite like his stories and i do like Robert Downey Jr the actor stepping up to play this role. I had not heard a lot about it before i watched it so i was open with opinions. From what i can remember from the trailers the movie looked exciting, with a good comedy and modern aspects to the characters.The movie looked worth watching and included a well known cast which i thought made me want to watch it more.
Director- Guy Ritchie
I was quite suprised when i saw that Guy Ricthie was the director. Guy is a brilliant English director who made his debut in 'Lock Stock and two smoking barrels' in 1998. Since then he has been known to make the best gangster, gritty and thriller movies. He is respected by a lot of American directors and has become one of the best directors from England. Many of his other films include- Snatch '2000' and Rocknrolla '2008'. Having a director like this gives the film a boost of respect and creativity.
Writer- Michael Robert Johnson and Anthony Peckham (Screenplay)
Distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures
Release Date- 26 December 2009 (UK)
Runtime- 128 Mins
DVD Release- 17 May 2010
- Background of Sherlock Holmes-
Sherlock Holmes is a fictional character made up by a Scottish author named Sir Authur Conan Doyle. He is a detective who is famous for his expertise in science, logic and cunning plans. Holmes is based in London and was first published to the world in 1887 in a series of short stories. The character grew tremendously in popularity with the beginning of the first series of short stories in The Strand Magazine in 1891. Everyone then knew who the character was and loved the stories that came with him. There are now many different protrayls of Sherlock Holmes, but his character and values remain the same. Although his methods of thought to be the most methodical of mankind
Pictures of Sherlock Holmes (DVD)
Sherlock Holmes (DVD) ..he was known to as a drunk, cigar smoker and was not the best housekeeper. He is shown to always loose important documents and had moments were he would live in his tiny room for weeks just thinking of theories and methods of science. In the stories he is also known as a drug taker, but this did not reflect on his work.
Sherlock Holmes was one of the most famous fictional characters ever made and has carried on for more than 100 years.
- PLOT -
In this recent version, it is set in London 1891 where Sherlock Holmes and his sidekick Watson are investigating the murders of several people from a result of black magic being used. A evil man named Lord Blackwood is behind this and even though they both know this, Blackwood has the dark magic on his side. After he is caught and hanged, there is a sinister turn and Holmes finds that he is the only one who can stop more murders being comitted.
- CHARACTERS -
Sherlock Holmes- Robert Downey Jr
I think this role was played pretty well. Robert gives Sherlock a new look of modern man, but still keeps in character with the real man. Most of the protrayls i have seen of Sherlock Holmes are nothing like this character, but i think this is the best one so far. In this version he shows his skills in boxing, martial arts and a master of science. What i liked about Robert Jr is that he looks like he was made for the part, especially when he is tormenting his sidekick or the police. He has a great look, making Sherlock Holmes an intruiging character to follow. I also think he gives a sexy image to the main character. I think it was a good choice of actor and he plays his character with perfection.
Robert Downey Jr has brought toughness, quick witted humour and a cunning new image to Sherlock Holmes. He has unique style and appearance which provides a smoothly modern look to Sherlock Holmes. As a excellent actor who recently played super hero Iron-man and seemed to pull that off, he plays this famous character extremley well.
Dr John Watson - Jude Law
Dr Watson is also played very well by Jude Law. I think he was a quite good fit to this role. His chemistry with the main character is perfect, like an old married couple. and he is smart, elegant and an interesting actor to watch. There are not many other actors who could have fitted this role so well, i was impressed with his performance.
Irene Adler - Rachael McAdams
Don't get me wrong i think that Rachael McAdams is a great actress and i have enjoyed her in many nice films, but i was not sure if she was cunning and devious enough to play this women who is suppose to of out smarted Holmes. Irene is Sherlock's weak link and in the stories she is smart and is his love interest. We can see the connection in the film and they both give a good sexual tension between them, but to me the actress has to much of an angelic face, but she does play her role extremley well as all the others do.
Lord Blackwood - Mark Strong
Mark Strong plays a cunning vilian and i think he was a great actor to choose. Even though he is a well respected and highly fantastic actor, his name is not really known that well. He does provide a excellent bad guy in this even though it was not the best performance i have seen him do. I likied the character though and thought he acted very well. The last series i saw Mark Strong in was 'Sharpe' with Sean Bean he played the character Colonal Brand who was also very sinister in this. So it was good to see him back to what he does best.
- NARRATIVE -
I did not know what i was expecting really, but i thought that it was going to be a ok, but boring story as tit is only a 12A film, but the story was both interesting and humourous to me. The opening was gritty and got me hooked staright away. There was mystery and many events you wanted to know about. The story flows well and is smart, entertaining and well put together. The film includes everything you need for a good film, action, humour, comedy and a love interest. Even though this version seems to be more of a Bond film, it still includes all of the right historical protrayls and Sherlock Holmes is still shown how he was suppose to have been. The supernatural included in the film were first a bit off putting as Sherlock Holmes is not really known for magic and magicians, but once he was explaining the logic behind the magic it came back to the orginal stories of Holmes. I liked how the Black Magic parts were a mystery until the very end and they were quite realistic.
The Victorian England is protrayed so well by Guy Ritchie. The muddy, grimey back streets, the dark, sinister alleys and the incredible scenes of the town. The sets are perfectly placed and gives the film a amazing sense of the XIXth century in London.
The views of London are just as seductive as Downey Jr, who exudes an aura of excellence and mystery, rarely a moment to think between all the fights and explosions. The special effects were suprisingly good, but this is not actually a suprise when you read that the film had a budget of $100 million. I thought the action scenes were fast, unique and exciting.
I especially liked the bare knuckle fighting between Holmes and a obvious champion fighter. The scene is filmed with such a high intensity you feel so involved in what he is doing. Sherlock Holmes is in a fighting ring and even though you can see he is small and does not seem as strong as his opposition he explains to the audience how he will win. Holmes explains his expertise in martial arts and boxing and provides you with a visual plan of action in slow motion. He shows you what he will do and what affect it will have on the other man. After this, it goes back to the start and shows you in real time, it is amazing to watch. The moves are so fast that it is over in a few seconds. This scene is one of the best as it shows, excellent effects, great imagination and good comedy.
Sherlock Holmes is entertaining and the marvellous chemistry between the leads practically demands a sequel.
- DIRECTING -
I am a fan of Guy Ritchie and i loved 'Snatch' and 'Lock Stock'. He brings a cunning and dark outlook on films and i think he was great for this modern version. His films even though can be seen as violent and abusive, give a different outlook on things. He gives Sherlock Holmes a even deeper sense of dark magic, violence and seduction. The atmosphere created in this film is amazing, it shows another side to how the Victorians lived.
- DVD and EXTRAS -
The look of the DVD is pretty simple but interesting.We can see both Sherlock and Watson stood in the middle of the front cover looking like they are posing
for a lads magazine. You can tell they have made this film with modern touches as i never had the image of Sherlock Holmes being young, stylish and had spikey hair?
Anyway the DVD looks good, nothing to eye catching, but this reflects the dark story and gritty time period it is set in.
Note: Sherlock Holmes: reinvented
Dolby Digital 5.1 - English, French, Spanish
Subtitles - English, French, Spanish
You can find the DVD play.co.uk for 8.99 or on Amazon for just 5.90.
- RECEPTION -
This movie received both negative and good reception when released. It holds quite a good rating and has done well at the box office.
Rotten Tomatoes rating - 69%
The film has received a number of awards and was even nominated for two Oscars this year. Robert Downey Jr received a Gloobe for his acting in the film which i think is well deserved.
- OVERALL -
I think it is an excellent version and it is worth watching. The characters are played well, the Victorian London is both moody and fills you with dark and sinister atmospheres. The acting is good and the i loved the action sequences. It has a few flaws, but makes up for them in the narrative, scenery and filming. I would rate the film a 8/10.
Thanks for reading- Blackmagicstar4 * July 2010.
I was never very keen on sherlock holmes growing up , but my husband wanted to watch it so we rented on blu ray dvd. However, i was surprised to find that i to enjoyed the film. While it tends to rabbit on in the middle it was still an enjoyable experience Ritchie's film plays for most of its running-time like a Conan Doyle story delivered at very high speed, and it really works. Robert Downey Jr. is maybe not the Holmes you expect but almost everything he does and says comes straight from the original stories, and he does a terrific job of inhabiting the mannerisms and foibles of the greatest fictional detective there has ever been. We get a deeply eccentric and moody but nonetheless commanding and heroic Holmes. As other reviewers note, Jude Law does an excellent job. Too many Holmes adaptations go for laughs and make Watson a stooge, but Jude Law gives us a capable and resourceful Watson who's much more than a sidekick or a buffoon. References to a shadowy criminal mastermind hint at a sequel and I for one can't wait. More like this, please. highly recommended to all even if you aren't a Sherlock Holmes fan.
Main characters include:
Robert Downey Jr. as Sherlock Holmes
Jude Law as Dr. John Watson
Rachel McAdams as Irene Adler
Mark Strong as Lord Blackwood
Michael Robert Johnson
Sherlock Holmes is a remake of the old school Sherlock Holmes.
Lord Blackwood is a serial killer, who is finally captured by the duo. Blackwood is then hung but returns from the grave and continues his killing frenzy. The duo have to unravel the clues to work out how he rose from the dead and continued to kill people. The duo work along side the police who eventually question Sherlock's ability. The question is
whether Lord Blackwood actually died?
Both Robert Downey Jr. and Jude law are known for their acting skills
and parts in well known films. For me, Sherlock Holmes does not disappoint. I am a fan of anything with any film featuring Robert Downey Jr. such as Iron Man. I find he always plays a good guy and think it would be good if he were to play the bad guy for once.
I find the story to be well written, with elements of humour when Sherlock leaves his gun when he goes off so he is sure Dr Watson goes after him to give it him. He also says something as if talking to the audience to add humour.
I like the way the relationship between the two main characters is shown. Its as thought Sherlock gets all the credit, when it's the doctor that does most of the work. The way Sherlock's mental instability is show is good as not many people are familiar with it. The darkness of the film is also suitable, but it does make it quite miserable.
However, there are many differences between this remake and the original. For example, Dr Watson is played by a quick witted charmer, when he was actually the underdog of the two.
Sherlock Holmes has taken over $400 million worldwide. The film is rated a 12.
I would recommend this film to anyone wanting to see a film that has a twist, is light hearted and contains good acting. You can currently by the DVD from Amazon for £8.99 or £15.85 for blu-ray.
The Quintessential English detective, Sherlock Holmes is a story that has been told and re-told so many times that the story is ingrained in our memory. I have seen many versions of the classic story and was not exactly eager to see a new one, until I found out this was not only Guy Ritchie's interpration on it (the British do British classics far better than Hollywood) but it was also going to have Robert Downey Jr and Jude Law in it, two of my favourite actors.
Sherlock Holmes in the book was a self-obsessed opium addict who only got his act together to solve a few crimes every now and again, something that many adaptations seem to like to ignore, going for the romanticised hero view instead. What I loved about Guy Ritchie's version is that his Sherlock retained this self-obsessed, half crazy and very difficult personality, something Robert Downey Jr was perfect to play, this being so close to various periods of his life I'm sure.
Jude Law played an excellent Watson, always loyal to Sherlock although slightly downtrodden and never able to fully stand up to him. Dr Watson has met his bride however and wishes to retire from their detective shenanigans and move out of their shared building, something that Sherlock is eager to discourage which provides much comedy value in the film.
Irene Adler, played by the beautiful Rachel McAdams, is a former lover and adversary of Sherlock and turns up mysteriously to ask for his help. It seems things are not that simple though when it appears Irene has a secret purpose behind this and the man she has asked for him to look for has wound up dead.
Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson race around London trying to discover the truth of what is going on and Sherlock finds himself led to the Temple of the four orders, a secret occult society that contains many high profile members such as the Prime minister.
Guy Ritchie's Sherlock Holmes is in equal parts dark , grim , funny and light hearted, a combination that is extremely hard to get right. There were the expected excellent action scenes and plenty of twists and turns to keep you interested. The relationship that Jude Law and Robert Downey jr played between Holmes and the Dr was excellent, both affectionate, loyal , argumentative and truly funny.
I will most definitely be recommending this to people and I particularly enjoyed the mention of Professor Moriarty at the end of the film, a sign I hope of more films to come!
The film Sherlock Holmes came out last year and is directed by Guy Ritchie. I watched it at a friends house so didn't manage to check out other things on the dvd, so this is just a review of the film.
The film is about the legendary Sherlock Holmes and his side kick Dr Watson. They are investigating someone called Lord Blackwood who practices black magic and is also a serial killer. They manage to catch him and he is sent to be hanged but they soon find he has mysteriously come back from the dead and they have to hunt him down again.
The main characters in the film and the actors who play them are as follows
Robert Downey Jr - Sherlock Holmes
Jude Law - Dr Watson
Mark Strong - Lord Blackwood
Kelly Reilly - Mary Morstan
Rachel McAdams - Irene Adler
Eddie Marsan - Inspector Lestrade
Robert Maillet - Dredger
I thought the best actor in the film was Jude Law as Dr Watson. He was funny in places and very critical of Holmes but you could also see how much he thought of him and that they were such good friends. I thought the part suited Jude really well. Robert Downey Jr brought something different to the part of Sherlock Holmes, he was not the character that we are all used to seeing in the old films and programmes but was this young eccentric person who would do anything to help him with his investigations. I have read some of the stories before although a long time ago and think that this was quite a good way to play him, it made the film a lot more fun and exciting to watch. The actor who I wasn't sure about was Mark Strong. I do like him as an actor but thought that in this film he played the part as Mark Strong and didn't really take on a big bad character, he wasn't nearly menacing enough.
As for the film as a whole, I enjoyed the story, I liked the way they rewound and showed you bits like when he disguised himself and then rewound to show you it was him, but I thought it could have been used either a bit more in other places or may be just for that bit as there were only about two incidents that it happened to and I was expecting more (does that make sense?).
I really liked the way they showed London back in the old days, it was really well done and you could totally believe they were actually in London. I especially liked the shots that were of the Thames with the boats.
All in all, I enjoyed the film quite a lot although I wouldn't go so far as to give it 5 stars, may be 4 at the most. My other half started watching it with us but got bored with it after about half an hour and disappeared until it had finished, then was surprised when it came up at the end and said it was directed by Guy Ritchie as he likes his films. I have not watched many of them though so cant compare them.