Monday, December 28, 2009

Movie Review - Sherlock Holmes

When I first saw the trailer for this movie, I was extremely excited. Guy Ritchie (director of Revolver, Snatch, Rockenrolla) and Robert Downey Jr.(Natural Born Killers, The Soloist, Tropic Thunder)? No wrong could be done with that combination. Guy Ritchie is a seasoned director and has some excellent films to his credit, and combined with Downey Jrs. immense talent I was on the verge of salivating. So was the film as good as the hype? (and there was hype a-plenty;I saw this movie advertised on the sides of those giant gas station mugs you get filled with 20 gallons of beverage for 49 cents. That's hype.)

Sadly, this movie was somewhat lacking in the amazing department. My hopes of a Snatch-esque super stylized, super fast paced, super thick plot and super snappy dialogue detective caper film were all but dashed as what I can only imagine to be Guy Ritchies desire to film a movie that actually made an impact at the box office took over. All his trademark filming techniques(multiple zigzagging plots lines, a diverse and quirky cast, odd camera angles and music choices)were exchanged for a completely...normal(for lack of a better word) type of movie, and I was sorely disappointed.

The shortcomings of lackluster cinematography was made up by the acting however; Robert Downey Jr. gives another terrific(though not brilliant) performance as the deductive Sherlock Holmes, assisted by Watson, played by Jude Law; also a solid if unamazing performance. Other roles include Lord Blackwood(Mark Strong) as the very obvious villain of the movie, and Rachel McAdams as Holmes rival/love interest Irene Adler, and both roles are well handled by the Strong and McAdams.

My biggest complaint towards the movie is one I addressed earlier: its just another normal movie, devoid of any of Guy Ritchies trademarks. Everything is GOOD, nothing is really...great. The plot is loose at best, being a simple villain-taking-over-the-world tale; at worst the plot being almost non-existent, and nothing more than a bunch of actors running through the streets of late 1800s London.

However, all this does not mean that it isn't an entertaining film. Downey Jr. and Jude Law have excellent chemistry onscreen, and the relationship between the two characters comes across as a genuine case of two very different individuals who happen to be best friends. The dialogue does pick up in spots, and every once in a while Guy Ritchie makes his presence known with some really gritty action scenes, particularly a slow-motion boxing scene that is is almost identical to a boxing scene from Snatch; but those moments are few and far between, and the movie is too long and too devoid of any real plot to hold the viewers interest between the few excellent scenes.

My final verdict is a rather unenthusiastic one; a National Treasure style plot and a overall subdued feel make this a rather disappointing movie; don't see this movie expecting anything amazing; rather, expect a somewhat disjointed, occasionally very entertaining film that well overstays its welcome.

1 comment:

  1. Completely agree with you. I went to the theater to see another movie which, due to the crowd it was attracting, made it impossible to see at least half of the movie i was there for. I also was brought in by the hype that Sherlock Holmes was putting forth, and i bought a ticket with a large amount of expectation.

    It did not follow into the movie however, i found myself sitting through a plot that seemed not unlike a Law and Order episode waiting for the next slow motion scene in which Sherlock Holmes plans each move, down to the last bone fracture. It was not a horrible movie, altough the "OooOOOoOoooO" scenes where the antagonist is either chanting, or performing some demonic ritual did leave me with a bad taste in my mouth. What this movie was, was a 19th century criminal investigation t.v. episode in brilliant technicolor, yours to view and pay for at your local theater.

    Don't get me wrong, i thought the fight scenes were fun, and the dialogue was continually witty. It kept me interested enough. But something told me that i could have gotten the same amount of entertainment from my t.v. back at home for much cheaper, free popcorn, and there's no big dude's head blocking your view of a mediocre movie.