Monday, 28 September 2020
Sherlock Holmes
Saturday, 02 January 2010 15:43

Sherlock HolmesThe game is afoot once again with yet another revival of a classic character. This time Sherlock Holmes doffs his deerstalker cap in favor of a wild mop of hair and rippling new physique. Robert Downey Jr. takes Holmes to a new level in Guy Ritchie’s fast paced adaptation of the iconic detective.

Robert Downey Jr. – is there anything that this guy can’t do? Seriously. He is consistently one of the most reliably great actors out there and can handle anything from heavy drama to broad comedy with spectacular results. Here, he has made Sherlock his own, being both believably brawny and brainy. Downey Jr.’s Holmes is so incredibly intelligent that the world holds few mysteries for him. In fact, he can barely stand to live in it, medicating his intellect with various drugs and alcohol to dull his keen senses. But give him a mystery to solve and he pursues it doggedly without rest until the answers are before him.

Law and Downey Jr.Enter Jude Law as Watson, vastly sexier than we’ve ever seen the good doctor before. He’s Holmes’ best pal – in fact the two share quaint accommodations at 221B Baker St. and he’s really the only one who could put up with his friends’ destructive lifestyle with such patience. Think of them sort of as Burt and Ernie; you can even throw in a little gay subtext. But much to Holmes’ chagrin, Watson is moving out soon and getting married.

As the film opens the two leading men are about the thwart the evil Lord Blackwood (Mark Strong), from murdering another young woman in sacrifice to the devil. The scene is action packed and really sets the tone for a fast-paced exciting movie. Blackwood is arrested and hung, but seems to have used his dark arts to make a comeback. As the plot thickens we are thrown into a very detailed journey through the underbelly of London as Holmes and Watson use observation, logic and more than a few well-thrown punches to solve the mystery.

Law, Downey Jr. and McAdamsThere are those who think Guy Ritchie’s style is ill suited to the normally reserved Sherlock Holmes. I for one have been imagining just such a revival for years! After all, smart is sexy right? So why not make it look that way? Many years ago, I remember telling a friend that they should make a new Sherlock Holmes movie with Jude Law as Holmes. Ironically, he is playing Dr. Watson but having seen the film I think this was a perfect casting choice. He and Downey Jr. share a great onscreen chemistry that is badly needed for this type of buddy movie. Rachel McAdams rounds out the cast as the only woman who ever outwitted Holmes, and the only one who ever captured his heart.

I really liked this smart and sexy adaptation of the classic detective. It is a lot of fun to watch and keeps up a speedy pace despite being over two hours long.

As a side note I’d like to recommend a book to those who enjoyed this film. “The List of 7” by Mark Frost captured my imagination years ago as a re-imagined Sherlock Holmes tale and I’ve always thought it would make a pretty great film. Enjoy!