Sherlock Holmes Movie Reviews
User reviews on Sherlock Holmes
Once again I found myself in a really nice theatre, enjoying a slice of pizza, and wishing that I cared about the characters and the plot of the movie.
Where is the love? Where is a scrap of intelligent writing in this multimillion dollar remake of tried and true Sherlock Holmes?
When did Sherlock become a super human, omnipotent ninja that is impervious to bodily harm? When did it become boring to watch Sherlock walk through logic and deductive reasoning to solve the crime? My answer: 5:40 pm. I think I actually lost I.Q. as I sat through this frenetically paced silly parody of Sherlock Holmes.
I gave it two stars because, hey its better than Chris Farley's Beverly Hills Ninja.
Is it just me or is anyone else tired of being targeted for the thirties something nostalgia market?
Would actually give this film 3.5 stars (or even 7 out of 10 stars) if that were an option, but can't go so far as 4 stars. What I liked about Sherlock Holmes (2009) was the momentum, with it's non stop action and the amazing sets! There was a harbor shot wherein the harbor really looked as one would expect an 1890's London harbor to look. It's a very entertaining movie,...
BUT - this was not the Sherlock Holmes that Arthur Conan Doyle wrote about, all scatterbrained and falling for the naughty woman. And then there's Dr. Watson who was (apparently) a lithe and stealthy martial artist (as opposed to Doyle's injured, portly physician who was honorably discharged as an army sugeon and in his own words returned from the war "with my health irretrievably ruined." Holmes' costumes were nice, but looked more like early 1940's / 2009 than 1890's, the rained on, mis-shapen fedora just didn't work. That's the sort of thing that pulls you right out of the illusion of the eighteen hundreds and plops you back into a seat in a crowded movie theater. This was more Batman and Robin (with a generous dose of Cat Woman) in London 1890 than Sherlock Holmes.
Oh yes, and then there's the "Satanic cult" routine. While there, apparently, were "black lodges" in jolly olde England of the 1800s, that Baphomet in the inverted pentagram was designed for and patented by Anton LeVey's Church of Satan in the 1960's. Whoops, once again I've been yanked out of my illusion of the eighteen hundreds (you know, the illsion we're all paying $10.25 - $16.00 in some theaters for?). Oh, well.
What is wrong with "Hollywood?" Why reinvent pre-exising characters and stories when there are so many original ideas that never get touched? Are they thinking 'this will be safe, it's already been done and everybody loved it... Well, we loved it the first time because it was original. Come off it, Guy Ritchie, et al! Show some originality, stop reinventing and start inventing. This could have been a great movie without the feeble attempts to steal and rework somebody else's great ideas.
I give it four very bright stars. I loved Downey's performance, and even though the Sherlock Holmes we're used to seeing would never be caught with his shirt off in public, it somehow works. Knowing you are going to see Robert Downey, Jr. portray Holmes should tip you off that "something's afoot". And something IS most definitely afoot; a film to get lost in. Don't worry about the story line, they'll explain it all to you in the end. Just enjoy watching the actors enjoy themselves entertaining you. I don't think you'll be sorry you spent close to three hours with them.
Earlier this year, JJ Abrams reinvigorated the Star Trek franchise. He kept the characters and their general traits, but was able to recharge it by taking out the cheesy sets and retro humor and make the action more realistic. I highly doubt some studio guy said the same thing for Sherlock Holmes, but director Guy Ritchie decided it was a good idea anyway. So here we are: Sherlock Holmes for the CG generation. To some, this could be a good thing; not to me.
I have never read any of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's books or short stories, but the detective is so part of the culture that you really don't have to read about him to know about him. Aided by his friend Dr. Watson, Holmes used his powers of observation and deductive reasoning to solve the toughest cases. Of course, this is 2009, and audiences today have no use for smart characters who use their wits to outsmart the bad guys. At least Ritchie and the studio don't think so. That's why we get Sherlock Holmes as James Bond in Victorian England. Holmes uses his fists more often than he uses his brain. This would work in a new franchise, but with a character this established in people's minds, it feels wrong.
It's unfortunate that the film feels as rushed and desperate to please as it does, because it stars the always game Robert Downey, Jr., who lately seems like he can't make a wrong move. No matter how I feel about the film as a whole, Downey is never anything less than entertaining. Jude Law brings a sophistication to Watson that the formerly bumbling sidekick has never had before. Again, this would work if I didn't have any preconceived notions about the character, but I do. It's not Law's fault, but it did taint how about felt about his performance.
Guy Ritchie is known for two movies he made a decade ago. These films were exciting and signaled an emerging talent. Unfortunately, it seems like those films were aberrations. Ritchie has flailed since then, and SHERLOCK HOLMES, while better than his other post SNATCH output, shows that the filmmaker just doesn't get, and he should learn a valuable lesson from his main character: sometimes it's better to use your brain than it is your brawn.