blogging by Andrew Wickliffe

Sherlock Holmes (2009, Guy Ritchie)

Ok, so… is Robert Downey Jr. ever going to be in a serious movie again? He’s the new Johnny Depp (serious indie actor turned blockbuster star for hire). Anyway. Sherlock Holmes.

Let’s see. Guy Ritchie can direct. Who knew? Maybe he just needed Joel Silver to rein him in. Good Hans Zimmer music. Good Jude Law sidekick performance. Awful Rachel McAdams (I really wish they’d killed her off so she couldn’t come back). Mark Strong is one of the worst villain “heavies” I’ve ever seen. Love how he’s dressed like a Nazi with a Nazi hairdo and a plan to invade the States. But whatever, one doesn’t see Sherlock Holmes for the script (not when the script gives Strong’s bastard character a lordship).

Unfortunately, Downey’s performance, while engaging and charismatic, is really nothing more than an athletic aping of Jeremy Brett’s Holmes and Downey’s own Chaplin (for the accent). There’s never a moment one doesn’t think a British actor couldn’t have done a superior job.

The film’s pretty simple to describe: it’s a well-produced League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. It’s also directly informed by “House,” which is inspired by Holmes‘s source material. It’s exceptionally unoriginal in its relationship between Downey and Law, but all the writing is pretty lame so it doesn’t matter much.

It’s a fine non-summer blockbuster. It discourages any intellectual involvement, it has a decent, “I hope there’s a sequel” ending. Too bad Downey’s become such a boring actor.

Hopefully it’ll get people to see Chaplin.

3 responses to “Sherlock Holmes (2009, Guy Ritchie)”

  1. What bugged me most about the movie is how grim and dark it is, even for a central theme that sort of called for that. I liked the Dracula-esque way Lord Blackwood was depicted though.

  2. Adam OR

    I can’t believe it. Richie? No fucking way.

  3. Andrew Wickliffe

    @Adam OR – I’ll curb it (just a little) by saying it’s fine blockbuster direction. He does his nonsense during the first sequence, then it looks more like Steven Spielberg on Joel Silver’s magic modern Kool-Aid than anything else. Doesn’t hurt Ritchie apes shots from the Granada series.

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