Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Sherlock Holmes

Directed by Guy Ritchie.
2009. Rated PG-13, 128 minutes.
Robert Downey Jr.
Jude Law
Rachel McAdams
Mark Strong
Eddie Marsan
Robert Maillet
Geraldine James
Kelly Reilly
William Houston

Plot: After being convicted of murder, Lord Blackwood (Strong) is executed. However, he apparently resurrects himself and threatens to take over the world. Super sleuth Sherlock Holmes (Downey Jr), who captured Blackwood in the first place, attempts to solve the mystery of his rising and save the day.

The Good: First and foremost, it's fun. The action scenes are well done, with top notch special fx. Massive objects go flying through the air and they actually appear dangerous, not like the green-screen wizardry we know them to be. The fight scenes are fun, as well. They're excellently choreographed and, thanks to Sherlock's pre-fight analysis, a source of humor. There's also lots of other humor. Two hours whizzes by because we're having a blast.

The Bad: It's so busy dazzling us with high-energy sequences, it never really shows us the secrets to the big mystery. Instead, Holmes just explains it all during a last minute monologue. I suppose that's to make him appear all the more brilliant, but I prefer to learn it as the hero does, not wait to be told just before the credits roll. Holmes himself is a bit of a disappointment, also. I've heard this version might be the closest to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's original literary interpretation of the character. Unfortunately, it's also very close to the lead actor's portrayal of a very recent character. Holmes feels like Tony Stark of the Iron Man movies, only with a British accent. He's brilliant, narcissistic, arrogant, self destructive and an alcoholic wise-ass. See?

The Ugly: Don't they know midget is a politically incorrect word.

Recommendation: This is a highly entertaining romp through 19th century London. It'll definitely work for popcorn movie night. Yes, it's only popcorn fluff. Still, it's good popcorn fluff.

MY SCORE: 7/10

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