|Posted on January 11, 2010 at 9:55 AM|
Overall, I found Sherlock Holmes (Ritchie, 2009) to be a thoroughly enjoyable action flick, but fans of Doyle's original series will be disappointed. As always, Downey, Jr. is supremely charismatic as the titular Holmes, while (the often sickly smug) Jude Law sets the tone perfectly as his long-suffering side-kick Dr. Watson. The witty, crackling dialogue between the two leads is the heart of the film; at times suggestive of an old married couple. Unfortunately, the supporting performances are somewhat 2-dimentional. Rachael McAdams and Mark Strong play characters so dull that I can't even remember their names. Their roles can be summed up simply as "love-interest" and "villian", respectively.
The problem with this film is that, despite its name, it’s not actually much of a murder-mystery/whodunnit, but rather an action film that just happens to be set in late 19th century London, and revolve around literature's most famous detective. There are no clues as to what the true nature of events might be, and Holmes simply wraps up all of the loose ends in a not-so-subtle, and rather anti-climactic (considering the state of the villain), final monologue. Having said that though, the action sequences ARE well shot, fast-paced and fun.
I was a huge fan of Guy Ritchie’s early films and was sad to see his descent into mediocrity and self-parody, but Sherlock Holmes is proof he is a genuinely talented director and editor, outside of his usual Brit-gangster fare. The script is funny and our heroes manage to divert any side-character shallowness through their great banter. I’d also like to mention the wonderful “Irish folk meets Romanian orchestra” soundtrack, by Hans Zimmer, which perfectly compliments the onscreen excitement. In conclusion, if you like action films, Robert Downey, Jr. or Guy Ritchie, then you'll love this rather loose adaptation of Sherlock Holmes. But fans of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and murder-mystery tales may need to check out the original television series instead.