Friday, 1 January 2010

Sherlock Holmes - Review

The biggest compliment I can give the film is that you quickly forget that this is a movie by Guy Ritchie. It's a new take on Holmes, but there's not too much 21st Century bling to disrupt your enjoyment, indeed, 19th Century London is brought to life beautifully.

Downey Jr's Holmes is rough around the edges, smart and funny, but missing the trademark deer stalker hat. You can't help but warm to him and the rebirth of Robert Downey Jr continues since Iron Man. Watson, played by Jude Law, is going to be much more of a shock for fans of the movies from the 1950's. He's intelligent, almost as witty as his partner and more than as adept in a scrap.

The two leads spar off of each other, the banter being one of the movies highlights and they are obviously enjoying every minute of it. And you can't help but enjoy it along with them.

The action sequences are beautifully shot and one particular scene sees the leads caught up in a ferocious blast and in slow motion you see it all in glorious detail. Great stuff.

The story isn't bad either, classic Holmes stuff. Confusing initially, black magic and conspiracy theory rolled into one. It all unravels before your eyes in the last half hour and there's even the inclusion of one very famous Holmes villain to satisfy the fan boys.

Despite all this though there are niggles. It's not true to the Holmes of the books, but that's too easy a criticism to make and largely doesn't matter, but there are odd, apparent jumps in time that aren't, frustratingly, explained. I'd like to have seen more of Holmes as the detective, there's a nice trick used during the fight scenes that would have worked equally as well during the Holmes figuring stuff out bits.

Ultimately though Ritchie likes making cool movies for the cool kids and for once he's nailed that.

Thoroughly enjoyable fettle. Go see it.

****