By FOX43tv.com's Film Reviewer, Stephanie Cooke
Sherlock Holmes is a grand new look at an age old story. Director Guy Ritchie takes the famous detective and his sidekickWatson and practically stand them on their heads from what we knowof them in the original incarnation from Sir Arthur ConanDoyle. The foggy streets of London, the courteous gentilityand the conspiracies of old are forsaken for a dirty new Holmes andWatson -- ones that are brawlers and hysterical at times.
Set in Victorian Era England with the construction of the LondonBridge as a backdrop to the story, Sherlock Holmes is the story ofHolmes played quite well by Robert Downey, Jr. and Holmes' sidekickDr. Watson played equally well by Jude Law. Holmes is a messafter he learns that the handsome Dr. Watson is involved in arelationship and is ready to propose. Holmes tries his bestto convince him otherwise while the case they are working onunfolds.
The case is what happened to Lord Blackwood (Mark Strong). At the beginning of the film Holmes and Watson manage to stop himfrom killing a 6th woman and he is sentenced to death byhanging. After his hanging, the stones covering his tombmiraculously split in half and he is replaced in his coffin bysomeone else.
The someone else is exactly who Holmes old flame Irene ( RachelMcAdams) has asked him to find for her. She's working forsomeone, but we never really understand who. Holmes andWatson find themselves embroiled in numerous fights as they try tocrack the case.
Some amazing fight scenes are made more enjoyable with GuyRitchie's intricate technique of super slow-moing the scene andthen slamming it back into real time. It's a technique thathe's used before and was annoying to me then mainly because of itsrandomness. Here, he uses it to get inside of Holmes' mind sothat you understand how quickly he figures things out. It'sreally the perfect use for this technique.
Even though the setting is not the mysterious, foggy London weexpect from the original story, the cinematography is wonderful asis the art direction. It's gritty and realistic, not overlybeautiful. Lots of bad teeth and dirty clothes and it'sfilled with the feeling that people are working for a living, whileHolmes frequently acts like he shouldn't have to.
Downy, Jr. is excellent in this role. If you are hung upon your own preconceived notions of who Sherlock Holmes is, you maynot enjoy this new reimagining of the character. He is wittyand clever and altogether enjoyable -- the character and Downey,Jr. Jude Law is the right balance to Downey, Jr. Hemaintains his own charisma while being the straight man in manyscenes.
The down side to the film is that it does go on a little long,and I was disappointed in the Rachel McAdams character ofIrene. She was a little flat and given enough lines toproduce the conflict in Holmes that I think the movie should havehad.
That said, as soon as the film is over, you immediately thinkabout the next one, which is a good thing for WarnerBrothers. It's left open and primed for the next part of thestory to come along. Men will love it, women will love it,teens may even love it -- mine did and he couldn't wait for thenext one. Can you say franchise?
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