Sherlock Holmes


The Internet Movie Database
CinemaSins      Movie Reviews

Loosely based on the stories by Arthur Conan Doyle

Amazingly enough, this movie is about Sherlock Holmes. Who would have thought?

Well, actually, it isn’t as such. Because they didn’t use any of the actual SH stories, and they have changed the characters enough to make them nearly but not completely unrecognizeable. Not to mention setting the story a full ten years earlier than they actually took place. But this is minor quibbling.

I have to say, I was excited by the previews of this one. It really looked like they had taken the SH oeuvre and done the Wild Wild West thing to it, added a lot of explosions, snappy dialogue, pretty girls, some revolutionary steampunky tech, but left the characters and story essentially the same.

But no. Now, I like Robert Downey Jr, I think he’s a fine actor; Jude Law is a Serious Honey and no slouch himself. But I am not kidding, about halfway through this thing I was looking at my watch…because, fights and explosions notwithstanding, it was…DULL.

Why? I don’t know. Maid-of-Awesome and The Boyfriend had seen it, and liked it, but I know M-o-A hasn’t read the original stories. I am not a purist, you can fool around with the man and the myth, and as long as it’s done sensibly, as in Laurie King’s fine Sherlock Holmes/Mary Russell novels, or charmingly, as in They Might Be Giants, I’m fine with that.

And the plot of this wasn’t so bad. It was the currently fashionable kind of thing, a psycho pseudo-magician mass murderer is trying to take over the country and it’s up to Our Heroes to stop him. Okay.

But it was DULL. It DRAGGED. Holmes and Watson, while okay when they were bantering together, didn’t really have much interaction with others, and when they did it wasn’t that interesting. I like the actress who played Irene Adler, but she was hoeing an uphill row trying to bring charm to this movie. And the wierd film cut/flashbacky thingies they used to show how Holmes figured something out were so much less satisfying than hearing him explain stuff in his supercilious voice.

And I really didn’t like Downey portraying him as a kind of brilliant slacker, that was so out of character. And they left out the drugs, pretty much. Hmph.

So no, this didn’t do a thing for me, and I won’t be on tenterhooks waiting for a sequel. I think it’s time to go back to the originals and enjoy them all over again. And naming this movie Sherlock Holmes without any subtitle, as if this is the first, only and definitive Sherlock Homes movie? now THAT’S chutzpah.

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