Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Sherlock Holmes Review

Surprise! It's a movie review I didn't expect to write. Why? Because I honestly had no interest or plan to see Guy Ritchie's latest film, having not been a big fan of his previous works, nor did I have a big interest in the character/story of Arthur Conan Doyle's classic Sherlock Holmes character. But after seeing Sherlock Holmes, has my opinion on Guy Ritchie or Sherlock Holmes changed at all? You'll have to read on to find out...

Story, where to start? I'm pretty sure everyone has a good idea of who Sherlock Holmes (Robert Downey Jr.) and his assistant, Dr. John Watson (Jude Law), are. Maybe not exact details, but at least some sort of general knowledge as to who Arthur Conan Doyle's characters are. Anyways, the first opens with the famous duo and group of constables confronting the mysterious Lord Blackwood (), who is in the middle of a cult ceremony. But after capturing Blackwood, and hanging him, it seems he's still very much alive. From here, Mr. Holmes uses his creative mind and Mr. Watson uses his general logic to investigate Lord Blackwood's return, even when Sherlock's former love, Irene Adler (Rachel McAdams) comes back into his life.

I think that's the general, mostly-spoiler free, summary of the film's premise. To be honest, it's been a long day, and I had already watched Burn After Reading earlier in the day, so I was actually dozing in and out of the film. I want to blame that on me being up so long without much sleep, but perhaps a chunk of the film just wasn't all that interesting. Like, I found the opening to be pretty fun and exciting, but once the film passes the hour mark it started to drag, and that's when the on/off sleep started. Come the end I was a bit more interested and entertained, but there were a ton of times where the film should have stopped, but it just kept going. And it's not like I hate long films, like Star Trek I wished was longer because it was a fun and entertaining film, Avatar was nearly three and a half hours, but it was really nice to watch... Sherlock Holmes, did not need to be two hours and fifteen minutes however. Sure, the duo of Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law works really well, and their scenes were great, but Rachel McAdams' character, completely useless, and Lord Blackwood looked way too much like Robert Downey Jr. in the Rocky & Bullwinkle film for me to take him seriously.

Aside from the acting, both the good and the bad, my real interest prior to seeing the film was just how Guy Ritchie was going to translate his signature film style of cool guys in suits doing stuff they shouldn't and getting into car chases, into a Victorian-era piece with a character that people are familiar with. So, how'd that go? For the most part, quite well; this is Ritchie's first effects heavy (in comparison to the minimal special effects he's used prior) film, and it blended pretty well with all the live parts, and I think he was able to handle the setting without getting too modern feeling and ruining the period piece that it is. But I also liked that he kept his style despite the change, I may not like his work that much, but I found it amusing that the film's opening of horse and buggies running down the road was shot like his modern day car scenes, and the well-choreographed fight scenes were a nice touch, even if they don't exactly fit the image people of of Sherlock.

And that really summarizes the film, it's a Guy Ritchie film, set in a Victorian-era, utilizing a known character to make the film about. It didn't feel like the Sherlock Holmes I've been familiar with, but that didn't mean Robert Downey Jr. was bad, I was actually impressed with his consistent accent. It's just... I don't know, the acting from Downey Jr. and Jude Law is great, but the directing just isn't all there. It feels like a Guy Ritchie film, but doesn't feel like a Sherlock Holmes film, and quite frankly I think the film lasted too long for it's own good.

Overall Score: 7.5/10

And, sorry if this isn't my standard review quality, but I'm tired as hell right now.

1 comment:

memory cards said...

Elementary, my dear -- as in, that's what Ritchie's spirited but superficial version of Arthur Conan Doyle's iconic detective ends up being.