Sherlock Holmes (2009) Directed by Guy Ritchie (Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels (1998), Snatch (2000), RocknRolla (2008)), starring Robert Downey Jr. (Chaplin (1992), Zodiac (2007), Iron Man (2008)), Jude Law (Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil (1997), A.I. Artificial Intelligence (2001), Sleuth (2007)), Rachel McAdams, and Mark Strong. This action-mystery film, Sherlock Holmes, is an unabashedly entertaining take on the Holmes myth, mixing, as it does, some of Arthur Conan Doyle‘s Holmes with a contemporary somewhat irreverent, action-oriented take on things. Though a bit overdone on the villain side, perhaps typically Victorian in its tone, it’s rather sad, however, that the, equally Victorian, edgy intellectual side of Holmes, that is to say his cocaine addiction and marvelous deductive reasoning, have for all intents and purposes been left out. On the other hand, it’s a pleasure to see Watson as something other than the rather clumsy, bumbling sort he was portrayed as in many of the earlier films, though, it’s true that, aside from looking quite the sharp dresser and being rather more active, Jude Law, true to himself, brings little more than a superficiality to the role. Robert Downey Jr.’s portrayal of Holmes is certainly an update as well with respect to Basil Rathbone‘s rather tight portrayals. Downey’s Holmes though, aside from lacking the intensity of Conan Doyle’s cocaine-addicted sleuth, perhaps camps it all up a bit too much. Nevertheless, Guy Ritchie’s Sherlock Holmes isn’t trying to be Conan Doyle’s Sherlock. Here, the myth of Sherlock Holmes is used to create an exciting, quick-paced contemporary entertainment, which Ritchie, Downey and Law succeed in doing quite well, in fact. Though not a must-see, in the sense of profound or important, the mix of Victoriana and contemporary makes Sherlock Holmes something you really are very likely to enjoy. (PR) (Note: The sequel, Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows, is scheduled to be released today, 16 December 2011.)
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