Directed by Guy Ritchie
Starring Robert Downey Jr, Jude Law, Mark Strong, Rachael McAdams, Eddie Marsan, Kelly Reilly, and William Houston.
Not going to lie to you…I know nothing about Sherlock Holmes. Never read the books, haven’t seen any other film adaptations…unless you count the Disney classic the Great Mouse Detective. So I walked into this not knowing if it was going to be faithful to the original books, or previous iterations. I was going for the main reason people go to movies: I liked the actors, the trailers looked pretty kick-ass, and the reviews were good. Would this be a good first exposure to these characters?
Victorian London. Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson are at a crossroads, as Watson is about to get married, pretty much meaning that he won’t be helping out Holmes anymore. They see their final case to the end as they witness the death of Lord Blackwood, some sort of occult worshiping royal who had murdered six women. Once Blackwood is hanged, it seems like everything is over…except Blackwood is mysteriously resurrected three days after his execution. Is he really some sort of dark lord who came back from death to murder again? This is a case for Sherlock Holmes! Watson is drawn back into Holmes’s world, as they try to uncover Blackwood’s plot. Also gumming up the works is Holmes’s old flame Irene Adler, who is pursuing her own agenda for a shadowy employer. What is Blackwood’s plot? Who is Adler working for? Will Watson get to the church on time?
What I Liked
I had no idea Holmes was such a delightfully offbeat character. At least he is in this iteration. He is a deeply flawed and troubled individual…except when he’s focused on a case. As many others have pointed out, Downey and Law have an amazing rapport as Holmes and Watson. And there are some great montages demonstrating Holmes’s thought process. Oh, and Hans Zimmer composed a very unusual film score that struck me as quite different…and good.
What I Didn’t Like
As detective movies and cop movies go, I found the whole thing to be rather conventional. It just had the feeling that I’d seen it all before.
It offers nothing new, but it is a fun time-waster.