Sherlock Holmes Directed by: Guy Ritchie Cast: Robert Downey Jr., Jude Law, Rachel McAdams Running Time: 2 hrs 10 mins Rating: PG-13 Release Date: December 25, 2009
PLOT: The great detective Sherlock Holmes (Downey Jr.) is back in an all new adventure. His trusty sidekick, Dr. Watson (Law) is thinking about leaving, but the mysterious Lord Blackwood (Strong) just won't die. Can the genius Holmes take down the magic man, even when an old flame (McAdams) comes back into the picture?
WHO'S IT FOR? If you're a fan of thrill rides, than this will do it's job. Downey Jr. is in full effect with this film, but those expecting a classic Ritchie film won't be getting it.
EXPECTATIONS: I like everybody involved here, and it seems like it's been a while since we've had a good adventure flick where we're following the smartest man in the room.
Robert Downey Jr. as Sherlock Holmes: It's fun to have Downey Jr. on top. Now he'll have the task of carrying two franchises (Iron Man and this). This time around, Holmes isn't just brains, but also brawn. A thinking man who can logically kick your ass is tons of fun to watch, so those upset with this addition can just go back to the books. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle would probably enjoy the money. In this adventure, Holmes must try to wrap his head around dark magic and secret societies. Downey Jr. packs the perfect amount of cocky brilliance for us to happily follow. Score: 8
Jude Law as Dr. John Watson: If only he wasn't saddled with the storyline of ... I'm leaving you for a woman. Sure, everyone can speculate on whether Holmes and Watson are secret lovers (What? I'm the only one who thought about this?). But it seems every time Law and Downey Jr. are having a good time, it's time to reintroduce the idea that Watson wants to leave Holmes so he can go get married. Umm, can't he do both? Let's hone that in the sequels so this won't be an issue. It is nice that Watson does have his own baggage, like a gambling vice. Score: 7
Rachel McAdams as Irene Adler: She must work for the evil man. Why? Dunno. Irene just doesn't have much to do in this film. Clearly there is a past between her and Holmes, and it looks like she can hold her own in a fight. There's just not a lot of life in this character. Score: 6
Mark Strong as Lord Blackwood: Yup, he can be spooky, which is really the only thing that we need out of Strong. Lord Blackwood can sneak up on the best of them, even Holmes. For most of the middle of the film, it appears that Blackwood can do as he pleases, luckily Holmes finally catches up to him. It's the next film that will have the intimidating bad guy. Promise. Score: 6
TALKING: Really good banter between Holmes and Watson in the beginning. They bicker like an old married couple. It seems the talking stops after about 30 minutes though and then it's all about the action. Then, in a couple of big piles of dialouge at the end, Holmes tries to make sense of it all. Score: 6
SIGHTS: Downey Jr. is clearly working out. Scotland Yard looks exactly like you would hope; dark and dreary. The two big action sequences seem unnecessary for the plot of the film, like it was only done cause they thought it would look cool. It only looked OK. Score: 6
SOUNDS: You know what that instrument is that sounds like an out of tune piano? Well, I don't. But that's what they use throughout the score and it's great. Score: 8
BEST SCENE: Within minutes of sitting down for the movie, you'll be given the best scene. I know, it sucks it's so soon. Holmes is preparing to attack a man around the corner. He analyzes what moves he should make based on the man's demeanor. ENDING: A little too much explaining, and it ran a little too long. QUESTIONS: Will Watson still need to retire next time around, or can we just kill off the woman? I'm not saying Holmes and Watson need to consummate their relationship, but since we REWATCHABILITY: Yeah, though I would happily make a concession stand run in the middle a couple of times. OVERALL
Sherlock Holmes is back. I wish I could say this is the thrill ride of the season. But it's just a "ride of the season." It's good, and for a second all things point to Sherlock Holmes tapping into some of that Star Trek reboot juice. They don't start us off with a retelling, or the first meeting with Holmes and Watson, they just throw us into an adventure. An adventure that Ritchie is surprisingly good at pulling off since he's never done the mainstream, big budget thing. The film suffers from getting a little lost in the middle, right around the time a giant knocks apart a huge boat. Suddenly, you realize not everything has a purpose. Downey Jr. is good at fooling us into thinking we're following the smartest guy in the room along for the ride. And I will happily do it again. Perhaps he just needs a foe with more at stack ... oh Professor Moriarty!
FINAL SCORE: 7/10