Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Dr. Watson, I Presume

Sherlock Holmes
Director: Guy Ritchie
Cast: Robert Downey Jr., Jude Law, Rachel McAdams
Released: 12/25/09
Viewed in theaters: 12/26/09

Oscar nominations:
Best Score - Hans Zimmer
Best Art Direction

Would you believe me if I told you I have never read a Sherlock Holmes book, much less ever seen one? Of course I know who he is as he is everywhere in pop culture. Everybody has heard of Sherlock Holmes, the world's most-renowned detective.

I went into this movie expecting it to be boring and dry, but was pleasantly surprised. The movie may be a little long with a two and a half hour running time, but there are plenty of action and suspense scenes to move it along smoothly. This was the first Ritchie movie I've ever seen and he has a very stylized way of directing. Normally, I find too much slow-motion (such as the scene in the boxing ring) to be distracting and gratuitous, but he does it in a clever way where it works as part of the story. His view of Sherlock Holmes is a little different from the traditional Holmes we're used to; I'm pretty sure the original Holmes wasn't an action figure, but in Ritchie's vision, it works.

If there's any actor who should win Comeback of the Decade, it's Robert Downey Jr. Despite winning a Golden Globe for his work on Ally McBeal in 2001, he veered off track, but managed to make an impressive comeback in the latter half of this decade with Iron Man (and a sequel), an Oscar nomination for Tropic Thunder (and remember, comedic performances are hardly ever noticed by the Academy), and now Sherlock Holmes (which inevitably has a sequel in the works).

Jude Law plays his sidekick, John Watson, and well, let's just say Downey has more chemistry with him than he has with Rachel McAdams who plays the only person who has ever outsmarted Sherlock. I can't even remember her name because she's barely in the movie and the character is very unwritten. I like McAdams as an actress (who doesn't love Regina George, after all?), but I didn't quite feel she was right for this role.

This is a fun movie with (mostly) great performances and the background of old England is stunning.

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