Tuesday, January 19, 2010

#10-Sherlock Holmes (2009)

Sherlock Holmes

Sherlock Holmes. Well, hasn't your face been shy of the spotlight for quite some time now, eh? I'm sure that Sir Arthur Conan Doyle is actually quite happy about that, after seeing my creation thrashed about numerous times by various people, a break would be nice after awhile. Why did you have to go and ruin it Guy Ritchie? Mr. Holmes does have an interesting history though, Conan Doyle published four novels and fifty-six short stories that featured the character, he was then used, and re-created by various other authors, the stories were then adapted into fourty-one episodes of the classic series The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes. But then, in 1985, Steven Speilberg and Barry Levinson tried to adapt Holmes for a new audience in, The Young Sherlock Holmes. The project was a failure and was lost and forgotten about forever. Now, both Sherlock Holmes and direct Guy Ritchie have spotty track-records, is there anyway for this film to stay afloat?

Let's begin with the story of the film, which is my main flaw. This movie is, obviously, suppose to be a mystery, which it is, and mysteries, in all forms, whether it be film, television, novel, whatever, they are suppose to give the viewer, or reader, clues along the way to help them figure out the mystery. Sherlock Holmes doesn't. It seems that the main story itself gets pushed aside for brawly action sequences, and scenes of Holmes and Watson puttering back and forth with each other. Don't get me wrong, the mystery is cleary layed out, for us, they say, this happened, whodunnit? But they don't allow us to guess who exactly it is. The film then wraps up very quickly (and annoyingly) leaving the door completely open for a sequel (which I'm sure it'll have)

Now, above me I mention "Holmes and Watson puttering with each other." And though that may sound like a complaint, I actually felt that it was one of the better parts of the movie. Robert Downy Jr. and Jude Law give excellent performances. I typically like Downy Jr. and this movie is no exception, he is doing his typical thing, with some funny nuances, and kind of a drunken appeal, and it works like it did in Iron Man. However, I always approach a Law film with caution, he did however greatly surprise me though, being serious enough to be the responsible one, but being silly enough to keep up with Sherlock. The only problem I had in the acting department was Rachel McAdams, and usually, I like McAdams, not good, not bad, but passable. Here she just didn't know what to do. Whether this is attributed to her or the direction, I do not know.

Guy Ritchie is still developing his life as a director. He is not a great director by any means, but he is a decent one at least. He throws his typical flair and style into the film, and as much as I like it, and as cool as it is, it just doesn't seem to fit into a film set in the 19th century. Speaking of the 19th centure, all the costumes, and buildings and make up looks fantasic in the movie. Everything is realistic and nice to look at. There is even quite a funny bit that deals with a false noes that was one of my favorites.

As much as I am putting the film down it still was a fun experience. It's an action movie, granted an action mystery, and the action is done well. The special effects are not Avatar by anymeans, but it's easy to make something we don't know look real, it's harder to make something we know look real when it's not. Trains crashing through docks and buildings, we can imagine that. Blue people jumping on dragon birds, not so much. The film also had some cool sound design, when bullets whiz past characters heads, we have a temporary silence followed by a ringing before sound is restored to us.

And really, Sherlock Holmes wasn't that bad of a film. Granted it's not as good as, maybe, District 9 or Avatar, it's still a nice little hold-over until something like Iron Man 2, or Kick-Ass comes along. The story was dull, and boring, and didn't follow Doyle tradition at all. While that kind of bugged me, it wasn't anything to bad. The acting was mostly good by everyone involved, it's fun to listen to Holmes and Watson sqwable back and forth to each other. Guy Ritchie does a decent job directing, as he usually does, with nothing special, or particularly bad. The art direction is lovely, and gives everything a dark, grungy, feel, we are also treated to some pretty nice special effects to boot!
I Give Sherlock Holmes A:

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