Reviews

Sherlock Holmes

3

Not shit, Sherlock...

Guy Ritchie, Jude Law and Robert Downey Jr. have passed their tests: Ritchie finally proving that he can drive a Hollywood tentpole into place with lairy gusto; Law (as trusty sidekick Dr Watson) establishing that he /can/ transcend the smug screen presence of recent years; and Downey Jr., with the least elementary brief of all, upending the character’s longstanding stuffiness with contemporary verve while nailing the eccentric bent of Arthur Conan Doyle’s great British detective.

Even Downey Jr.’s posh accent holds firm (firmer than Law’s, who suffers lapses into sarf London), although he does spit out some dialogue in unintelligible, rapid-fire bursts. Sherlock’s highly evolved deductive faculties also get a good workout, though the Holmes hardcore may find the case-solving /slightly/ slapdash.

Working for the first time from a screenplay he didn’t write (five scripters fondled Holmes on his journey to the big screen, though with no obvious trauma), Ritchie is liberated to have brawling, blokey fun. He revels in a mucky Victorian London of gypsies, tramps and thieves, deploying his rambunctious speed-up/slow-down bag of tricks for bare-knuckle punch-ups and new-fangled set-pieces boosted by surprisingly smooth CGI.

No origin-story laboriousness to wade through, either. Sherlock plunges straight into his next case involving sexy grifter Irene (Rachel McAdams), diabolical occultist Lord Blackwood (Mark Strong) and a secretive Mason-esque cult. Flaws? McAdams is excess baggage beyond jumpstarting the plot and providing hetero-cover (along with Kelly Reilly) for Holmes and Watson’s jaunty homoerotic squabbling, while the Tower Bridge climax is a mild letdown. But from its superb production design to Hans Zimmer’s punchy, gypsy-violin score, Sherlock Holmes can unashamedly count itself one of the more robust members of the 2009 blockbuster club, not as dazzling as Star Trek or Half-Blood Prince but streets ahead of Transformers 2 or Wolverine. With his sequel-coaxing, chop-socky reboot, Ritchie has buried that deerstalker cap for good. Or at least put it aside for his next hunting trip…

Verdict:

This Sherlock Holmes refuses to take himself seriously. Brilliant, because it allows to RDJ and Ritchie to let rip with their non-traditionalist revamp. Not so great because super-sleuthing loses out to bone-crunching. Either way, the brio is infectious.

Film Details

User Reviews

    • vanillasky

      Dec 29th 2009, 18:45

      2

      Just seen this in cinema and it was disappointing. I nearly fell asleep 3 times. Sticking a few fight scenes in a film does not work unless you have a storyline that is interesting. The way the detective story was written was shabby and boring that even an episode of Murder She Wrote would have been better! Rachel McAdams character pointless although good to look at, as was Kelly Reilly of Eden Lake fame. They could have made the ending a lot better considering the tower bridge CGI looked excellent. To make matters worse, I think they have set it up for a sequel, well count me out.

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    • saxonwolfcock

      Dec 31st 2009, 0:21

      4

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    • slomax19

      Jan 2nd 2010, 15:34

      3

      Entertaining (and very off-the-wall) take on Sherlock Holmes put together in the true Guy Ritchie style of male banter and unravelling puzzles brought together by a series of punch-ups. Well worth a watch for Downey Jnr's performance alone, but fails to quite fulfill it's promising potential. Sequel should offer more.

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    • SexandHotCoffee

      Jan 3rd 2010, 12:39

      4

      A well made film. At points it may not deliver the climaxes we are used to as hollywood film viewers, but this film is all about breaking molds- a new take on sherlock holmes, and a new take on film making, making an adventure out of the classic, overly posh holmes we used to know. Good review, deserves more than 3 stars though.

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    • Crezzy123

      Jan 11th 2010, 15:05

      I really enjoyed this film. I thought the dialogue between Holmes and Watson was incredibly sharp and funny. It was Holmes in its own style, making it stand out from the rest. However, I do think that McAdam's character did seem a bit pointless. All in all, brilliant first cinema trip for 2010!

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    • Andyvalver

      Jan 12th 2010, 12:51

      3

      Definatly worth a watch. Not a 4 or 5 star film but entertaining to watch. I enjoyed it.

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    • captainchod

      Jan 12th 2010, 13:19

      4

      A lot of fun, and the double act of Downey Jnr and Law is fantastic. Looking forward to the next film.

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    • scruffycat171

      Jan 22nd 2010, 21:08

      4

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    • ramsey1421

      Jan 23rd 2010, 17:06

      5

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    • boogaloochimp

      Jan 24th 2010, 17:18

      2

      I have to agree that this was an exceptionally dull blockbuster. It promised a great deal and never really got going. Sure, Robert Downey Jr was charismatic but then he was charismatic in The Shaggy Dog. Anyway, i did fall asleep about twenty minutes before the end and when i woke up i had no desire to know how it all transpired. Big didappointment.

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    • TeddyPicker

      Jan 26th 2010, 0:55

      4

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    • DanRose

      Jan 27th 2010, 0:53

      4

      I really enjoyed it. Downey Junior is on top form as the enigmatic Holmes. Both witty and slightly mad all at once. He was a joy to watch and the banter between his Holmes and Law's Watson is great to watch. You could tell they are both having loads of fun. Law in his best performance in years. Great fun...

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    • pinewoodlodge

      Jan 29th 2010, 14:02

      5

      The sets are very realistic and balanced perfectly between costume drama political-correctness and tacky low-budget amateur B-movie sets. The sets include a dark and murky slaughterhouse, a working industrial shipyard filled with an unfinished steamer, the glittering houses of parliament and the sewers beneath them and the unfinished tower bridge. The film is filled with various fight & chase scenes, which are made to fit in perfectly with the comedy and ‘detective’ elements. The acting is very good and sucks you into the plot. The main element that separates it from the books is that Holmes is not trying to find who the killer is, that is revealed at the start, but he is instead trying to find out how Blackwood is creating the ‘black magic’, and of course, stop him. Also Watson plays a much larger role rather then just being a tag-along. VERDICT: a must see thriller where nothing is predictable that differs from the much known traditional Conan Doyle Holmes. By Galen Youngman

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    • Satine

      Jul 31st 2010, 22:14

      4

      LOVE! LOVE! LOVE! When seeing the trailer, I was afraid that Richie had ruined this movie with massive volumes of misplaced action and gangster one-liners. But it turned out, that my fears were unfounded. This is a great interpretation of an old old-timer. It is very true to the iconic characters and at the same time bold enough to shed light on some, until now, ignored features of the Holmes character. Robert Downey Jr.’s flair for conveying the quirky makes him excellent at portraying this neurotic legendary detective, and even though I don’t like Jude Law in general he makes a fine side kick. I love the relationship between Holmes and Watson, especially Holmes child-like behavior as a reaction to Watson “breaking up with him” to get married. Mark Strong is slowly becoming a new star on my sky of great British actors, and in this movie he truly shows that he also masters the nature of the true villain, which seems to be a special, common trade mark for so many great acting Englishmen. This is a funny and exiting movie, and I will definitely return for the sequel.

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    • district9

      Aug 30th 2010, 18:17

      4

      Brilliant thriller with great acting and action. Story is superb, cannot wait for the second!

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    • sophieb0855

      Sep 4th 2010, 22:44

      3

      It would seem Guy Ritchie has scored big with Sherlock Holmes, like most films it has its dissapointments however, the overall film is one which should be praised and noted. Following on to give the director a perfect opportunity for a sequel. Sherlock Holmes's (Robert Downing Jr)character although predictable was fasinating throughout the film and created a rather sarcastic humour which was suprisingly entertaining. The suspence of the film however, seems to stay at one level causing the scenes to seem dragged on and occasioanlly became slightly boring. The role of Sherlock's partner Dr. John Watson (Jude Law)is flawless and humourous throughout even going on to out shine Sherlock Holmes at times. The struggle they face in the attempt to save England from the 'immortal' Lord Blackwood (Mark Strong)seems almost impossible already, even without the occasional problems from several other sources. One being the beautiful Irene Adler (Rachel McAdams) whose emotional history causes the chance to jebordise Holmes's progress. Overall the film was enjoyable, however, it must be added that the prolonging of the advertisment for the film created a rather high expectation which it could of possibly failed to reach, even if only slightly.

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    • MaggieSimpkins

      Jan 17th 2011, 15:29

      Any movie with Robert Downy Jr. in it - is going to be amazing. Mark my words! golden rule dental insurance

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    • MaggieSimpkins

      Jan 17th 2011, 15:31

      Any movie Robert Downy Jr. is in is going to be amazing. I love Sherlock Holmes. I thought it was very well made and directed. And of course, the acting was amazing. Maggie | atlanta roofing

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    • rahuldev1234

      Jan 31st 2011, 11:42

      5

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    • hakunam

      Mar 7th 2011, 10:51

      Brilliant thriller with great acting and action. Story is superb, cannot wait for the second!

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    • mixalos

      Mar 10th 2011, 12:33

      Great film and actors,i think Robert Downey Jr the last years with all his movies is included in the list of the top 10 actors!Thanks for the post! goldbet

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    • AngelFlirt

      May 3rd 2011, 13:23

      Awesome. As above said the whole combination is amazing :) Happy watching!!

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    • zakmccormack

      Jan 3rd 2012, 22:00

      3

      It was ok. Just average. Cast promised alot but didn't live up to expections. The sequel should hopefully be better.

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    • freddie2u

      May 1st 2012, 23:41

      5

      this movie took sherlock holmes to new realms. The superb chemistry between the actors made for a lot of great humour, but best of all were the fight scenes. Maybe not one for classic ACDoyle fans but definitely kept me on the edge of my seat

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