Director: Guy Ritchie
Cast: Robert Downey Jr., Jude Law, Rachel McAdams, Mark Strong, Kelly Reilly, Eddie Marsan
RunTime: 2 hrs 8 mins
Released By: GV
Official Website: http://www.sherlock-holmes-movie.com/
Opening Day: 24 December 2009
Synopsis: In a dynamic new portrayal of Arthur Conan Doyle's most famous characters, "Sherlock Holmes" sends Holmes and his stalwart partner Watson on their latest challenge. Revealing fighting skills as lethal as his legendary intellect, Holmes will battle as never before to bring down a new nemesis and unravel a deadly plot that could destroy the country.
Our impression of Sherlock Holmes is someone intelligent, bears a moustache, smokes a pipe, and wearing a checked hat, going around dark valleys poking his nose into the seediest darkest crimes to solve mysteries nobody else can. He probably isn’t exactly the type you’d want to be seen at parties, given how boring he can get, going on and on about he cracks cases with his impressive logic. That’s our impression of this fictional character of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, a creation of Scottish author and physician Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.
Trust director Guy Ritchie to give Mr. Holmes a makeover, transforming to someone who is intelligent (check), smokes a pipe (check), pokes his nose into danger (check), and most importantly, someone who is witty, wisecracking and someone whom we’d want to be seen hanging around at parties. An added bonus – he pulls some fierce punches. After all, Ritchie is the filmmaker who gave us the very stylistic Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels (1998) and Snatch (2000). And who better to personify Mr. Holmes than Robert Downey Jr., one of Hollywood’s finest actors whose recognition is long overdue.
The world began taking notice of the Oscar nominee in 2008’s Tropic Thunder and Iron Man – despite being mainstream blockbuster movies, the man proved that he could act. And with his latest portrayal with the well known detective, he has another credential to add to his resume: a nomination for Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy is already in the pocket.
Downey Jr. is joined by another capable and sometimes overlooked Jude Law in this action packed (strange but true) movie where the legendary sleuth and his assistant Dr. Watson (Law) closes another case after finally catching serial killer Lord Blackwood, But when Blackwood mysteriously returns from the nether world and continues his killing spree, the duo must continue with the case again. What must Holmes do to unravel the clues that will lead him into a twisted web of murder and gasp, black magic?
We should have known better – being the logical man the dauntless detective is, how can any supernatural elements be involved? The screenplay written by Michael Robert Johnson, Anthony Peckham and Simon Kinberg will explain every detail to you by the end of the movie, how tricks were played, how murders were carried out, how crimes were committed. No voodoo involved here, only manipulation of an intelligent mind. And this is where you’d feel as smart as Mr. Holmes – you get extra points for guessing the riddles before Downey Jr. reveals them at the end of the movie. No room for imagination and thoughts? Nope, we weren’t looking for that in the first place.
Joining the two charming men is Rachel McAdams as temptress Irene Adler, adding some sensuality to the mix. She probably has something up her sleeve, as you’ve guessed, given how men are known to give in to temptation easily.
Ritchie knows how to make an accessible flick – the engaging action sequences (Mr. Holmes delivers some mean punches), the impressive computer generated effects (the finale on a towering construction site is wowing), the sizzling chemistry between the leads (the sharply written dialogues are a hoot) and most importantly, saving some bit for a sequel. Yes, you heard it right, we are expecting a sequel. More of the charming cast? More of the adrenaline driven fight sequences? More crime solving antics? Bring them on!
(This entertaining flick headlined by charming leads should end 2009 on a nice note)
Reviewed by John Li