Fri 25 Dec 2009
I can smell you … (Silence of the Lambs fans can fill in the explicit part)
As a Sherlock aficionado myself, I spent the few minutes prior to the start of the film discussing some of my concerns and thoughts about mythically epic adventures of Holmes and Dr. Watson. My guest and I discussed our favorite actors, scripts, and possible concerns from having seen various trailers. Our conversation boiled down to few key points. First, Basil Rathbone made the best Sherlock Holmes, though his scripts were dreadful. The best scripts were the BBC series, but we didn’t like the actors as much. Second, was the concern that Dr. Watson would be portrayed as a buffoon or simpleton. Finally, we discussed our concerns that trailers had shown Homes using gadgets and inferred he was romantically involved with Rachel McAdams’ character, Lady Adler.
In actuality, this film was more true to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s version of Sherlock than I originally assumed. It is obvious that Lady Adler and Sherlock Holmes greatly admire and respect one another despite being on opposing sides of the law. Moreover as a borderline misogynist, it is Holmes’ deep respect and admiration for this woman, which really sets her apart.
Distinctly action packed and well paced, “Sherlock Holmes” gives audiences a rare glance into a younger, more virile Sherlock Holmes. Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law are a brilliant combo. The partnership and interplay between Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson is legendary, but it was nice to finally see on screen. It was refreshing to see Dr. Watson portrayed as a smart, brave, ex-army doctor, but also as Sherlock right hand man, his comrade in arms.
Though not nearly as perceptive as Holmes, Dr. Watson does pick up some of his tricks and is able to lend a hand from time to time, which is necessary given how volatile and erratic Sherlock is. Not only was he unparalleled in his ability to observe and his reasoned logic; Sherlock was also an addict, often disheveled, and prone to bouts of depression and boredom. It is the stalwart Dr. Watson who helps maintain Sherlock’s sanity and balance, only adding to my enjoyment when Sherlock goads Dr. Watson into helping him.
Lord Blackwood (Mark Strong) is a wonderful villain. Although I felt it would have made for a stronger ending to cut out the last 15 minutes (after the first summary), the chosen ending was still decent. Various special effects, particularly the construction of the bridge scene, could have been done better but I think that it will be fairly undetectable to to most unless you’re looking for these kinds of things.
I really loved the casting choices, particularly in regards to Holmes and Watson. Honestly, these two may have quickly become my favorite actors to ever portray these characters. While I thought this was a very well done version and greatly look forward to any possible sequels, I’m not sure that mainstream audiences will like this film as much as I did, but “Sherlock Holmes” earns a 3.5 out of 5 in my book.