This is a great start to a franchise that is sure to be a trilogy of movies. Robert Downey Jr. is likely sitting quite happy now with Iron Man in one hand and Sherlock Holmes in the other and he plays the characters so very well. In particular Holmes, a man who can’t understand the outside world, who has no interest in it. He doesn’t even know that the sun revolves around the earth for such matters do not interest him. Only the game, the mystery, the questions and the investigation. He delights in examining and pulling it apart.
The character of Holmes is done justice here, he isn’t a nice man, he can be rude, he is messy, he takes cocaine. But he is brilliant. Intelligent in his field. I have noticed a lot of people saying that they didn’t expect the character to be so dark. In reality that is true to the character. He is a dark character. One has to only look at the books or even at the Granada series featuring Jeremy Brett to see that he character is a dark and brooding one. Certainly the film has more comedic moments and action in it but in a film set up to be a franchise in front of a wide audience i can’t see it not being done in this way. I would love a very canon Holmes story, the action was always in the investigation rather than physical acts but the action in this movie doesn’t make this any less enjoyable. Again, Holmes is an accomplished boxer and has been known to gamble when he needed rent, so there isn’t really anything in the movie that detracts from the character, it takes a lot of Holmes background and builds onto it on screen.
I had expected there might be a Brad Pitt Cameo as Moriarty at the end. I waited till the end credits to see if it were true but alas no. While it’s an interesting piece of casting I’d rather see another actor take on the role. I feel Pitt is too much of a likeable face to match the description often given to Moriarty. Downey is well cast as Holmes and brings more gravitas to the roles then previously rumored Sacha Baron Cohen might have. Dare I say that with previous dabbles in exotic medications Downey has more in common with Holmes. I would rank his interpretation as one of my favorites next to Peter Cushing and Jeremy Brett. Usually I prefer Robert Downey Jr in more serious roles but I enjoyed his performance in this a little more than I was expecting.
Jude Law is an interesting Watson and again makes Watson a little tougher taking his military background and adding a youth and energy to the character that we haven’t seen before. It’s not the first time Law has featured in a Holmes story, he did appear in “The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes” dressed as a Woman! I won’t say more. I’m certainly glad he got this role over Russell Crowe.
Mark Strong as lord Blackwood was kind of a weak villain.Perhaps because Moriarty was lurking in the shadows in this movie detracted from the dangerousness of this character. It’s a bit like SPECTRE in the Bond movies, the baddie is part of a bigger organization we know there is something far worse behind him. Also having him be a practitioner of the dark arts also made the character seem a little weak when put up against Holmes since Holmes himself doesn’t accept the supernatural answer to Blackwoods powers therefore making him less of a real threat unlike the very real danger of Moriarty. I found it interesting that the beginning of the movie with the sacrificial ritual was similar to scenes from the movie “Young Sherlock Holmes” which I had seen a few days previously.
Irene Adler. I very much like that they added this character to the movie since she has always been considered Holmes true love. I like that they already have an established relationship when we see them in the film. My only nitpick is that the character has a little less class and was a bit more overtly devious against Holmes especially when I saw the friends she was keeping company with. Yikes.
Love the score, the old London city, the dissected fight scenes. Guy Ritchie really brought the world of Holmes and Watson to life and I can’t wait for the next instalment. My Hopes for the sequel.Well, I’d love to see Holmes and Moriarty going off reichenbach falls at the end of the next movie. I hope the character’s interact much like their first meeting in the books, each already knowing what the other would say therefore making it pointless to actually say anything. Whatever is next this is a bright beginning (ala Casino Royale and Batman Begins) with a strong future ahead.
Favorite Quote: Madame, I need you to remain calm and trust me, I’m a professional. Beneath this pillow lies the key to my release. – Sherlock Holmes