Monday, January 11, 2010

Weeks Too Late: Sherlock Holmes

Sherlock Holmes. Directed by Guy Ritchie.
Written by Michael Robert Johnson, Anthony Peckham and Simon Kinberg. Based on Lionel Wigram's story and Arthur Conan Doyle's characters (having that many writers is a good sign, right?)

Preconceptions (oh the ideas I've come up with before ever seeing the movie): From the first trailer I saw months and months ago this movie began to build itself up in my head to Wolfman-ian proportions. It looked like an enjoyable action movie set in one of my favourite time periods. It even appeared to have a delicious Steam Punk sensibility. However, it also looked to have nothing to do with Sherlock Holmes. I'm hardly a raving Doyle fan and haven't read enough Sherlock Holmes to be any kind of authority. Trailers featuring Watson (Jude Law) being a Kung-Fu master led me to think of the upcoming movie as Robert Downey Jr.'s Victorian Adventure: Featuring Fisticuffs (RDJVAFF, for short) so as not to be disappointed by a total lack of Sherlock Holmes.

General Review (I solemnly swear not to give away plot points): Once again, movies have lied to me through trailer. I hate it when they do that. I was bamboozled by the marketing. Far from being Sherlock Holmes lite, featuring no detectoring and half the calorie laden cocaine, the movie actually had something to do with the title character. Holmes was the same socially awkward genius I remembered from my failed attempts to enjoy the books when I was younger (seeing this movie has rekindled my interest in the series. Maybe I'll prefer it now that I've spent some time sophisticating my palate. By which I mean, I've read some truly dull novels from this time. I'm looking at YOU Dracula).

The relationship between Holmes and Watson is genuinely charming. The chemistry between Jude Law and Robert Downey Jr. was adorable and barely had any traces of homoeroticism (a difficult thing to do in a story about two men, one a confirmed bachelor, running around having adventures). It was a rare pleasure to see masculine camaraderie done so well.

But don't let me sell the action part of the adventure short. Sherlock Holmes wasn't just about two Victorian Gentlemen being friends. It was far from being the wire fighting extravaganza I was expecting. Most of the sequences were more along the lines of awkward running around and face punching.

It's quick paced and engaging. The hard core Sherlock Holmes Novel fans might be a bit disappointed, but probably not by much. It wasn't the smartest or funniest movie of the year and I don't think there should be any pressing need to run out to the theater and devour it. I do think that it's worth your time to see.

Random Thoughts (there may very well be spoilers) : Robert Downey Jr. should have become less attractive as he became more weathered and craggy. This is not the case. And while there was some lively fan girl debate on whether he or Jude Law was the more attractive team member, everyone could agree that it would be a tasty sandwich.

Being one of nature's anti-romantics I had basically no interest in Holmes' love connection. This aside, it was extraordinarily refreshing to see a movie where there was romantic tension that didn't lead to a sex scene. I can't remember the last time an antagonistic love interest didn't end up with the characters rolling around on the floor together. Congratulations, Movie!

DDR knock off games are a fun way to be ridiculed by your friends before the movie.


  1. I hope you stuck around for the credits, they had fun there. My personal favorite was the still you have pictured above, with the Costume Designer listed next to it.


  2. Ha! While we did stick around to see the pretty pictures, keen observational mind that I am I didn't notice that.

    Also, you have the dubious distinction of being our official first comment-or.

  3. You hooked me...I will have to see this film.

  4. Why thank you!

    Clearly, what I need is more blogging about our friendly neighbourhood smut talks. I should do a Laurel K. Hamilton Hor-otica review.

    And I can honestly say your screen name doesn't ring a bell...if you don't mind me asking do I know you on the Twitter? Or perhaps do I read a blog of yours? I'm never not being nosy.