Sherlock HolmesDecember. 23,2009 PG-13
Prime Video Movies
Eccentric consulting detective, Sherlock Holmes and Doctor John Watson battle to bring down a new nemesis and unravel a deadly plot that could destroy England.
When a string of brutal murders terrorizes London, it doesn't take long for legendary detective Sherlock Holmes (Robert Downey Jr.) and his crime- solving partner, Dr. Watson (Jude Law), to find the killer, Lord Blackwood (Mark Strong). A devotee of the dark arts, Blackwood has a bigger scheme in mind, and his execution plays right into his plans. The game is afoot when Blackwood seems to rise from the grave, plunging Holmes and Watson into the world of the occult and strange technologies.Extremely entertaining reinterpretation of Sherlock Holmes; characters made believable and likable by Robert Downey, Jr and Jude Law. And the music by Hans Zimmer fit perfect to the fast action scenes in old world London. The two have fantastic buddy chemistry, and their good-natured bickering is a delight. Parents should be aware that this PG-13 film, while very light on offensive language and sexuality (a woman's bare back is seen, as is a man's bare chest in a different scene, and there is one innuendo) does have a good deal of action violence and some blood. Also, the storyline involves the occult, which is displayed as evil and to be combated, but its portrayal may still make some uncomfortable. Sherlock Holmes comes recommended to those who enjoy action films with substance. ---From Yidioo
Sherlock is made more human in this one and not simply the dispassionate thinking machine portrayed by others while Dr.Watson gets very physical, in brawls and street chases.Downey is good as Holmes, showing his selfish, somewhat petulant side--at Watson's coming marriage--as well as the usual brilliant observations about those around him. He rushes in where the police fear to tread and his casual insults to Lestrade are done in such a way the bumbling Scotland Yard man doesn't even seem to notice, pointing out his ineptitude. Irene Adler's place in Holmes' life is really built up in this one, though the real story between the two seems to have been more his admiration of her intellect and the fact she was one of the few people ever to best him, than a physical one. Nevertheless, it's fun, with a great villain and a secret society determined to bring down the government.Placing the story in its actual time period makes this one of the better Sherlock Holmes adaptations. There are great panoramic vistas of Victorian London, so vast they have to be partially paintings.Throw in a touch of the supernatural, some great effects, a dash of humor, a couple of explosions, and what's not to like?
Guy Ritchie projects are never boring, but they do sometimes get lost. It was perhaps inevitable tackling such beloved material as this would generate mixed reviews, which is probably why his Sherlock Holmes effort seems to be for everyone and no one. Despite being alternately labeled schlocky fantasy or witty caper, the film attempts to cater to every possible expectation. Everyone, that is, who doesn't have a preconceived notion of what the Arthur Conan Doyle stories are - which is, again, everyone. And there's the rub.If this is big, dumb action, then I have seen far larger and dumber. Other than short, Ritchified segments of Holmes' one-on-one deductive boxing (always shown twice, first deconstructed and then in real-time), the rest of the action is all set pieces. Well-executed set pieces at that, but not memorable ones. Still, they are coherent and well-choreographed, and usually peppered with enough broad humor to get you through it. It's a far cry from either Michael Mann point-and-shoot-outs or Michael Bay visual noise. No, in terms of its action sequences, audiences seem to have more of a problem which movie they're showing up in than anything else. The thing is it is perhaps not quite the departure it seems, as the Holmes character's association with underground boxing or ability to handle himself in a fight has certainly been implied before, just not this heroically, and never on screen.If punching a given quota of man-meat is the price of getting films made today, the flip side in any Holmes adaptation has to be the cerebral unraveling of a mystery, or what is at least a mystery to the reader/audience. This is where Ritchie's film falls short. In a throwaway story that only serves as a springboard for the next (and better) chapter, Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows, the manipulative Lord Blackwood (Strong) and his (obviously pseudo) supernatural aura of fear attempt a coup of merry old England as Watson (Law) prepares to leave Baker Street for a stabler relationship with a woman we never really meet for more than two lines. It also somehow involves murders, a dwarf, a Francophone giant, a secret society - and well, there I've nodded off again. It's weak stuff; there is not yet a Mycroft or a Moriarty in this story, except by weak acknowledgment, and only Irene Adler's (Rachel McAdams) interest in Blackwood offers any other level to what is essentially a non-mystery. It isn't merely unsatisfying, but morally, inherently wrong that the audience should discover the solution before Holmes does, but that is what happens here. It would be refreshing and too much to hope for if an action film could be produced without the fate of civilization hanging in the balance. Do producers really think audiences worry themselves with the global Realpolitik in their fictional enterprises? The only real positive is it isn't another boring origin story.Where then, is the film's intelligence I alluded to earlier? It's in the dialogue. I'm not sure whichever one of the five writers working on this project we have to thank for that, but there are some real Sherlockian gems lurking in these lines, to repeat any of which would better constitute a spoiler than the limpid Blackwood plot. I've no doubt each and every one went over the heads of the holiday audience the trailer was marketed to.The film's humor is in no small part possible but for Robert Downey Jr.'s transformative performance. It may not be the man we're used to, but he inhabits Holmes, proving his talent with some difficult lines, an extinct (if less than perfectly rendered) accent, and double-act with Law, with whom he shares a gift for comedy neither actor really gets to use often enough. The only criticism I have with RDJ's representation is, like the film, it's a bit kitchen-sinky. There is Holmes the neurotic, Holmes the sociopath, Holmes the emotional, Holmes the distant, Holmes the brilliant, Holmes the boxer, and he's intent on capturing them all like so many Pokemon.Even the sets are middling. A certain ambiance is created through restriction of color to dull greys, whites, and browns, but that shouldn't have generated a nomination for art direction, should it? With static backgrounds consistently out of proportion to anyone standing outside another building and an aura of cleanliness no one would associate with smoggy, grimy 1890 London (or 1891? newspapers read each), I think people are too quick to praise.I'm not sure therefore who this film can actually succeed in pleasing. It's a prelude of a commercial piece, one its creators certainly hoped would become a franchise, aimed as such at conglomerating every possible portrayal of a Sherlock Holmes story into the same movie. I'm unsympathetic to its most commonly-heard critiques (yes, actually Irene Adler was from New Jersey in the book, no, actually there is real wit here, but you have to pay attention to the mumbling on either side of the big set pieces to find it), but at the same time I'm conscious of its mediocrity. The whole thing is temporarily fun, but it has a lasting silliness. 5/10, but with the promise of things to come.
"Sherlock Holmes" fails in every way imaginable. There isn't one aspect of this film that feels fresh and original, which is vital for remaking a story and putting it to life. Robert Downy Jr. and Jude Law play Holmes and Watson, giving forced and fake performances while lacking any chemistry between the detective partnership. Let's just say this film moves slower than a tortoise, taking forever to become interesting or engaging. What would have helped is if it was made with more of a dark undertone, gripping the audience in to a more complex portrayal of crime and law. Instead we're forced to sit through two hours of ridiculous one-liners and dull action that never helps move the story forward.