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Customer Review

10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My mind rebels at stagnation, 11 Jun. 2010
This review is from: Sherlock Holmes [DVD] [2009] (DVD)
After watching the trailer for Sherlock Holmes I expected to hate this film. The trailer does not do this film justice at all - it just makes the film come across as trashy and a bit stupid. However, I saw this at the cinema and was completely bowled over! In short it was brilliant. I agree with another reviewer who states that this film suffers when viewed on DVD as you really needed to see it on the big screen to fully appreciate the SFX and the soundtrack doesn't have the same impact when listened to through TV speakers.

I think I was put off the film because the trailer showed a Sherlock Holmes that seemed intolerable. Thanks to all the TV adaptations of Doyle I thought that Holmes (Downey Jr) should be portrayed as a dry, conservative, refined individual, the perfect gentleman. The trailer makes it seem as though the film is pandering to immature teenagers who want to see lots of fight scenes and bravado. Then I realised that I haven't read any Doyle so how did I know how the character is depicted in the books? Anyway Guy Ritchie is more than entitled to play around with the character of Holmes (Watson too) in the name of artistic licence. It seems to me that Ritchie has really provoked and surprised many people with what appears to be an unconventional interpretation of Sherlock Holmes which is good as it might encourage people to read some of the novels and it has shown that he can think outside of the gangster genre.

This film reminds me a bit of the Young Sherlock Holmes because they are both jolly good fun! That's what I love about this adaptation, it just grabs hold of you as soon as it starts and continues to thrill until the closing scene. The opening scene is first class in my opinion. The film just launches straight into the story, no time wasted. I suppose Ritchie's job was half done as soon as he began work on the film as everyone loves mysteries and he had one of the greatest characters in literature at his disposal.

The plot is of course a very clever one. Dastardly Lord Blackwood (Strong) is striking terror into the hearts of Londoners until he is brought to justice but even then he continues to haunt the city's imagination and gets up to all sorts even though he is sentenced to date with the rope. The intrigue revolves around Lord Blackwood but also around 3 seemingly unexplainable deaths that Holmes must get to the bottom of using his skills as a detective and his fists. There are also plenty of spooky things going on in the background that all ultimately link together. The story also deals with the Holmes/Watson (Law) relationship, the Watson/Mary Morstan (Reilly) relationship and the Holmes/Irene Adler (McAdams) relationship. It's all suitably complicated and engaging and magical.

I can't say I paid too much attention to Robert Downey Jr before seeing this but in this movie he really impresses and his English accent is good. He like the rest of the cast seemed to be having a whale of a time making this film, it really shows. He is funny and tough. His portrayal is very appealing. He brings sensitivity to Holmes and importantly he is convincing as a shockingly clever dick. The other cast members also do excellent jobs playing their respective roles. Jude Law seems like an odd choice for Watson and he is not shown to be bumbling or hapless. He is almost though not quite Holmes' equal. He is shown to be street smart, patriotic and a bit of gambler. I think he is outclassed by Robert Downey Jr all along but he is more than capable of being the straight man to Holmes with his wonderfully weird idiosyncrasies. Strong is masterful as a man devoted to evil, a right nasty piece of work with a lovely gravelly voice. McAdams and Reilly aren't really given enough screen time which is a shame as McAdams has a real spark about her and Reilly is a fine intense actress.

One of the biggest stars of this success is the soundtrack. It really gets your heart beating and the tunes stick in your mind. The music is inventive and fits the mood of the film well.

The effects/the sets/costumes are also great, none of it seems lame. It all looks, well, real!

The dialogue is a delight. I believe from a Ritchie interview I saw that every scene contains a line from the novels.

With this movie Ritchie has done much to restore his reputation as a filmmaker to be taken seriously. Sherlock Holmes is fresh and exciting. Oh and the denouement doesn't disappoint either.
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Showing 1-3 of 3 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 14 Jun 2010 21:56:54 BDT
Norah says:
Couldn't have put it better myself!!! Fantastic film....and I'm in my 60's. :o)

Posted on 14 Jun 2010 21:58:14 BDT
[Deleted by the author on 14 Jun 2010 21:58:38 BDT]

In reply to an earlier post on 28 Mar 2016 00:08:34 BDT
luvstuff says:
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