Thoughts on 'Sherlock Holmes' . . .

Posted by 2 Dollar Productions Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Worth Full-Price, Matinee or Rental: Matinee. ‘Sherlock Holmes’ is frivolous fun, and despite clocking in at more than two hours, this one is perfect for a low-pressure matinee price.

Will I Own It On DVD: No. I would watch it one more time, but that’s not enough to justify a purchase.

Overrall Grade: Movie: B-

1) ‘Sherlock Holmes’ is very much an updated version of the famous super sleuth. This new spin maintains Holmes’ powers of detection, but also casts the well-known figure as a backstreet brawler, a man who likes to use his mind to inflict punishment with his fists. I wasn’t entirely excited about this addition to the character as my favorite parts of the new film showcased his powers of mental deduction, however, the fisticuffs didn’t detract from the overall product either.

2) The actual plot of the film centers around black magic, the occult and vaguely on Manifest Destiny or something like that. It’s really not that important, but instead, merely serves as a vessel to allow Robert Downey Jr. as Sherlock Holmes and Jude Law as his best friend and ally, Dr. Watson, to run around London while trying to foil the nefarious plans of Lord Blackwood (Mark Strong).

3) Downey Jr. and Law display a really fine chemistry that is by far the best attribute of the film. Without their dynamic and frequently amusing interaction, the movies would have suffered greatly. Instead, these actors play off one another with excellent precision, and the casting director made a stellar choice in pairing them together.

4) The rest of the cast doesn't fare quite as well. Strong makes a servicable villian, however, Rachel McAdams is painfully bad in several scenes as Holmes' former lover and a mysterious woman of action. She appears to be acting in an entirely different movie on occasion, and never settles comfortably into her role.

5) 'Sherlock Holmes' is an entertaining update of the classic character that is also unmistakably a Guy Ritchie ('Snatch') film. Ritchie never met a project that he wouldn't try to stuff with slow-motion brawling body shots and quivering muscles and he brings that to bear in this one as well. But while the explosions and fighting keep the pace moving along, it is the bantering between Downey Jr. and Law that makes it worth paying for a ticket.



  1. Heff Says:
  2. No thanks. I'm patiently waiting for RD,J to get busted again. It's just a matter of time.

  3. Linda Says:
  4. You're right, the scenes w/ RDJ and Jude Law were the most interesting part of the film. McAdams was a bit disappointing. Looking forward to Ironman 2.

  5. Boxer Says:
  6. Sherlock Holmes was just OK for me. I enjoyed it while watching, but it had little staying power. UP IN THE AIR and AVATAR are still with me, if that makes sense. I wanted SHERLOCK to be good, but making the character into an action figure, bothered me. That said, I can watch RDJ in anything and I'm glad he has a hit. Still, I told someone it was like biting into a hot fudge sundae made with cheap ice cream and Cool Whip, when you expected HaagenDaaz and fresh whipping cream.

  7. Heff - He seems high on success right now & Holmes is a hit, so . . . it might be awhile. You heard it here first: nothing before 2014.

    Linda - Definitely. I really liked their interaction, and found it funny. I saw the I2 preview, and I am too - big fan of Rourke & Downey Jr.

    Boxer - Agreed. Agreed. Agreed. And on the analogy as well. It's a trifle of a movie as it was gone by the time I had driven home, and the only reason it got by for me was Downey Jr. & his playing off Law. 'Air' is still around and so is 'Crazy Heart' and I'm going to finally see 'Avatar' this weekend on IMAX 3 D. Promise. Review up next week.

  8. nobich Says:
  9. Hmmm well... well maybe I'll wait for it to come to cable.

  10. excellent review, BDS. This is the one I've been waiting to see. I'm gonna try to make it this weekend, but then again, I'm a sucker for Jude.

  11. Gypsy Says:
  12. I have always loved RDJ but this story doesn't grab me at all. Maybe I'll wait for a slow TV week and watch it in DVD when it comes out.

  13. Gypsy Says:
  14. sorry....ON DVD, what a wally!

  15. Nobich - You could wait or justify a matinee price depending on your preference. It would be fine either way . . .

    Kymical Reactions - Thanks as you should like this one then as there's plenty of Law in it. But I personally like Downey Jr. better. But go see it & know that it's like 2 hrs 15 minutes long . . .

    Gypsy - I knew what you meant, but I do appreciate the correction. Ha. Don't blame you on the story as I'm not a big Sherlock fan, but like Downey Jr and the character well enough to have checked it out. It's a solid effort all the way around.

  16. BostonPobble Says:
  17. Before this came out, I read several critics say this was the movie where McAdams really needed to step up and prove she was a talented actor and not just a one hit wonder. Everything I've heard since is that she fails miserably at that. Me, I could care less ~ but I could look at Downey, Jr. all day without hardship.

  18. Haven't seen it yet. I was supposed to go see it with GWWBMGF a couple weeks ago, but after we ate dinner it was painfully obvious that she wasn't going to be able to stay awake through a movie, so we watched one On Demand instead. I'll still probably go see it, with or without her.

  19. Miss Ash Says:
  20. I'll probably rent it...I don't even know if it's still out around here though I did want to see it!

  21. Bostonpobble - Yeah, she's really unimpressive in this film. I am starting to think that she is fairly limited . . . she does nothing for me one way or another. I do like Downey Jr. in virtually anything he does these days.

    Native Minnow - If she was going to sleep, then good move skipping this one as it's fairly long. You should check it out either way as a matinee would work well for 'Holmes' to kill an afternoon.

    Miss Ash - I bet it's still around somewhere out there, but if not, a rental would be good too.

  22. Joanna Cake Says:
  23. Thanks for that, I will rent it instead :) I do enjoy RDJ and Sherlock Holmes and with Guy Ritchie on board.


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