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Shoddy adaptation of the well-loved story
on 12 April 2012
I was so ready to love this adaptation, but it fell flat on it's face after the first scene... Ian Hart's sullen Watson, who carries most of the drama, completely distracted me from the story. He should have been made to watch the Granada series with Jeremy Brett as Holmes and David Burke/Edward Hardwick (both) as a delightfully clever, upbeat and witty Watson who proved a more than competent match for Brett's icy, introvert, brilliant Holmes. As for Richard Roxburgh, he still is one of my favorite actors (as well as the director of one of my all-time favorite films, Romulus my Father), just not in this adaptation. Too blond, too distant and simply too normal as Holmes, his acting skills were not well-used here, to put it mildly. Since he's well-known for solid acting in series like Blue Murder, East of Everything, Hawke and Rake, I can only blame the director for not using his talent. Richard E. Grant makes for a decent bad guy, though any viewer will know he is the Bad Guy from the moment his menacing face appears onscreen. I couldn't help but think that he would have made a better Holmes then Roxburgh, but personally, the late Jeremy Brett still goes unrivalled for me in that role.
As has been commented on by others, Holmes' unnecessary gung-ho tactics with the cabby, the random drug-taking (so out of sync with the original Doyle stories that is seemed just to be there as a gimmick) a very bland Sir Henry Baskerville and a decidedly uncreepy CGI hound, didn't help the story along either.
Shame, one of my favorite Doyle stories combined with one of my favorite actors, yet it just didn't gell. Missed opportunity here.