Sherlock Holmes (Guy Ritchie) 2009 NO SPOILERS!!!

I suppose I must address the elephant in room and talk about the faithfulness to the source material.  I am someone who owns the Holmes stories (in a book that copies them from the original Strand magazines), the Basil Rathbone/Nigel Bruce radio shows and movie serials, and even the Arthur Conan Doyle biography, I must say I am surprised at the number of apparent Holmes fans that have come out of the woodwork prior to this movies release.  We have had movies where Holmes foils Nazi plots, a movie where Holmes is an adolescent detective (good as that movie was it shit on canon), and of course…Sherlock Holmes in the 22nd Century.  Where the f*ck were you “fans” when that came out?

Now granted I have not kept up with my Holmes reading in several years so my memory has faded.  From what I heard though, Ritchie hired a team of writers to comb over the source material to create as vivid a picture as possible.  And while my memory is faded, I must say this feels like a genuine attempt and not an ass raping of canon.  Of course that leads me to the action which is touted in the trailers.  Yes there is action in this movie.  I feel though it is all well done, exciting, and welcome at times.  I kind of liken it to the Star Trek reboot from earlier this year.  No one could accuse the original Star Trek of being an action roller coaster, but I think it did a good job of staying true to the characters and at the same time delivering some good action.  Same here.  Ritchie stays faithful to the characters while at the same time spicing things up with some fighting scenes.

To give just a brief plot description (again without spoiling anything).  Holmes captures Lord Blackwood (Mark Strong) a man who purportedly is a practitioner of the black arts and also seemingly survives his execution.  Meanwhile there is some domestic tension as Watson is engaged and is moving out of the Baker Street address.  Holmes has to stop Blackwood’s plot while dealing with the prospect of the break up of his partnership with Watson.

This movie is obviously owned by both Jude Law and Robert Downey Jr.  They really do have a great chemistry together and it almost seems unnecessary to praise them since you almost take it for granted.  Mark Strong is imposing as Blackwood however he does not have a ton to do besides loom over people and say creepy things.  Rachel McAdams definitely has the weakest role in this movie.  Weak in that her role almost feels superfluous and is not given much material, and also in the fact she gives the weakest performance.  She really doesn’t have the feel of a femme fatale with incredible seductive powers.  She isn’t terrible or even bad in the context of the movie as a whole, but she is the weakest point of the ensemble.

I liked pretty much the rest of the movie.  The dialog is funny and the exchanges are well written, the mystery kept me involved the whole way through, and the action is exciting.  Ritchie, whom I’ve had reservations with the past few movies, has really done a great job.  He still sometimes does too much visually, but those were only a few times.  Overall, he did great.

So yeah, if you didn’t know already where I was going with this.  I thought this was a great movie.  And again, like the Star Trek reboot I was able to go along with this new direction of Holmes and enjoy this as a fun Holmes adventure with some welcome action added to it.  I recommend it and I can’t wait for the eventual sequel.


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