Saturday, January 23, 2010

Sherlock Holmes

Dir: Guy Ritchie

What do you do when you've survived sustained and close contact with the greatest living vampyre of the age, and you need to re-establish yourself as an artist again? Guy Ritchie, has coped with his dilemma by adopting one of his ex wife's tricks. Artisitc theft. He turned to his own cultural heritage, his own back yard so to speak, added some of his own old themes, hired the greatest hype merchant he could lay hands on, and stole Sherlock Holmes.

I should add at this point that I am a Sherlock Holmes fan. I've got and read all the stories and books, several times, and I have watched the Jeremy Brett TV adaptations a great many times.

The actors in Ritchies attempt don't fit the characters very well. The story is pathetic, and unworthy of Sherlock Holmes and the whole film seems like an old hat amalgamation of 'From Hell' and 'Shanghai Knights'. Especially the latter.

Worst of the lot is Robert Downey Junior who mumbles his way through scene after scene, pulling faces meant to convey eccentricity (and apparently a homosexual desire for Watson) all the while coming across, not as a Victorian gentleman of eccentric intelligence, but as the self obsessed individual Downey comes across as in all the films I've had the misfortune to see him in.

This is Sherlock Holmes

This is Robert Downey Junior


Grimsby Mariner said...

I agree with the summary of Holmes - Jeremy Brett or Basil Rathbone for me.
Plot was thin and contrived.
Cinematography though was excellent. The film rolled along a t a great pace and i liked the way all the little clues came together at the end.
Ritchie is not the man to make a mystery very ....well mysterious. But he does make a great action movie - so right film wrong central charcters.

moif said...

If the exact same film had been made with some other, new characters, a la 'Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrells', then I think it would have worked a lot better (and I'd have given it three stars).

Had the film not starred RDJ, but an
British actor with some acting talent, like Dexter Fletcher or Damien Lewis then I'd probably have given it four stars.

brando said...

You're right, of course.

I enjoyed it though. The epic dirty landscapes, and the science/magic concept. And Rachel McHottie was scary hot as usual.

Even for an action movie, I thought there was a lot of punching. Maybe they could have titled it "Punching Through London".

Or. "Holmes...The Haymaker Cronicles".

Sherlock Holmes: "Maybe I can use my imagination to figure out this crime. Or I can punch everyone and everything in this room!"

moif said...


Jeremy Brett is the definitive Holmes for me. The guy was brilliant.


I think Guy Ritchie has a thing for bare knuckle fighting.. though I get the impression its something he focuses on in order to send the message that his London based characters are right-hard-as-nails-bastards.