REVIEW: SHERLOCK HOLMES
SYNOPSIS: In a dynamic new portrayal of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's most famous characters, "Sherlock Holmes" sends Holmes and his stalwart partner Watson on their latest challenge. Revealing fighting skills as lethal as his legendary intellect, Holmes will battle as never before to bring down a new nemesis and unravel a deadly plot that could destroy the country.
REVIEW: The adventures of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson have been interpreted in many ways throughout time. I am partial to the Basil Rathbone version in Sherlock Holmes and the Hound of the Baskervilles. Mr. Rathbone played the ultimate Holmes in films between 1939 and 1946, if I am not mistaken, so I truly believed that no one else could do justice to this great British detective – that is until Mr. Downey took on the part. Downey brings not only the detailed detective intuition of the original gumshoe but a surprising pugilistic quality. The film begins with our heroes saving the last of five victims from a satanic serial murderer (a bit out there for the time period but it works). The character of the Satanic Lord Blackwood is made all the more dark by actor Marc Strong, playing the part to its darkest potential. You feel that looking him in the eye would make you fall into his dark spell. Well done! Not only do our heroes, who worked side by side with the authorities (privately hired by the surviving victims’ family), solve the crime, but Dr. Watson is brought in to oversee the execution and final decree of death for Lord Blackwood. Now the real fun begins as things take a very unnatural turn, but I will not ruin the mystery for you here.
Dr. Watson as played by the gorgeous Jude Law is a breath of fresh air. I always thought of Dr. Watson almost as Sherlock Holmes fall guy or servant in some ways but in this film he not only holds his own, he takes a few shots at Holmes – literally.
The relationship between these two is sweet if at times a little unusual. If you remember any of the old movies, Watson is always threatening to make this adventure his last but is dragged back in by a new and exciting mystery made all the more exciting in its description by Homes. As the film unfolds we find that Watson is set to become betrothed to the lovely Mary (Kelly Reilly) and desperately wants to move on and make a real life for himself, just as Holmes shuts himself up in his rooms in total distress due to his need for a new and greater adventure. As I mentioned before, turn of events after Lord Blackwood’s execution did not go as would have naturally been expected and so the adventure truly begins. To complicate things, Holmes old flame Irene Adler (Rachel McAdams) comes into town and is tied into this unfolding scenario. The two are so good together that they are bad for each other. As I mentioned earlier, Downey has similarities to the original Holmes created by Sir Arthur Conan-Doyle (hey, I love to read and these were some of my favorites) such as his ability to draw conclusions from the smallest observations. Sir Doyle created Holmes inspired by a Dr. Joseph Bell under whom he clerked at the Edinburg Royal Infirmary… now I might just be boring you. Anyhow, that maybe where the similarities end. This Holmes loves a good fight, a good wager and apparently some good hallucinogenic herbs! Hey, whatever helps? Director Guy Ritchey did an incredible job in this film. I must state that getting divorced from Madonna may have been the best medicine for his stalled career! The scenes of turn of the century England are so true to the era that you can practically feel the damp and dreary weather coming through the screen. I must say that the view of London Bridge barely finished were impressive and so very believable, the sites inside the buildings and London tower were so true to period that its seems as if you are taken back in time.
All in all I must say that this movie will give your brain a workout as you try to solve the mystery, your eyes a treat as you observe the period unfold before you and just a good time overall watching Downey and Law do their thing in this awfully good show – I mean film.
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