REVIEW: Sherlock Holmes

6 01 2010

Robert Downey, Jr. is one lucky guy.  His brilliantly dry wit has earned him the privilege to play two iconic smug heroes: Tony Stark (aka Iron Man) and the titular sleuth of “Sherlock Holmes.”  He brings plenty of his trademark enthusiasm to the role, yet it still feels a few notches down from Stark and “Iron Man.”  He doesn’t get any help from director Guy Ritchie, whose excessively stylized contemporary approach clashes with the intricate Victorian sets, costumes, and jargon.  His “Sherlock Holmes” is not bad, but it fails to captivate and engross like detective stories are supposed to do.

Downey Jr. is not bad either.  It was particularly amusing to watch he and Jude Law, who plays the famous sidekick Dr. Watson, get into their bickering and bantering.  They feel like an old married couple, which they practically are given the amount of time that Watson spends tending to Holmes’ needs.  On the opposite side of things, Rachel McAdams’ Irene falls victim to some atrocious writing.  Her character pops up without explanation and no real motivation is ever given to her.  McAdams does her best to make up for it with some passion, but even that is not enough.

As for the story, I wasn’t expecting a connect-the-dots mystery.  I have read one of Arthur Conan Doyle’s original Holmes tales, “The Hound of the Baskervilles,” and it was somewhat frustrating to feel so helpless to piece things together.  However, this screenplay doesn’t even grant us the privilege of seeing that there are any dots at all.  As Holmes probes London to find the seemingly resurrected occult leader Lord Blackwood (Mark Strong), he stumbles upon many clues and red herrings.  But the filmmakers refuse to assign any sort of significance to any of these, and we are completely unaware that these mean anything.  In essence, we are traveling this road with Holmes.  He, however, has a clue where it might be leading; we don’t.

All in all, “Sherlock Holmes” is a pretty fair piece of entertainment.  I wouldn’t describe anything about the movie as being  spectacular or rememberable, but I do look forward to seeing the sequel which was clearly set up in the ending, hoping in the meantime that Ritchie and his team can figure out a way to get me more engaged.  B- /

Advertisements

Actions

Information

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s




%d bloggers like this: