Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Sherlock Holmes

Tonight I saw Sherlock Holmes, starring Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law.

Guy Ritchie's dumbed-down version of Holmes is not without appeal, it's just not what I've pictured of the character all my life.

The dapper Sherlock (Downey Jr.) is in between cases after solving a big one and has turned into somewhat of a hermit. His faithful Watson (Law) encourages him to get back to work, and additional motivation is found by Irene (Rachel McAdams). I don't think I'd be out of line here mentioning that the chemistry between Downey Jr. and Law is far more electric than that of Downey Jr. and McAdams.

Anyway, soon the three are on the chase with Holmes predictably outwitting everyone in his path (and stopping to explain himself after each feat). The fight scenes are predictably exciting (since that's Ritchie's "thing"), but at times it's almost expected that a "BOOM" or "POW" will emerge from a puffy cloud above their heads. It's that comic book-ish.

Nevertheless, I'd say the greatest elements of the film are the cinematography and the art direction. London looks so gray and spooky, I remembered how I felt years ago when visiting the city, I took a Jack the Ripper murder mystery tour that led me well into the night. It creeped me out; not only because the stories I was hearing were true, but because the mood was "just right."

And while I don't believe the character portrayals (though undeniably entertaining) are faithful enough to their literary counterparts, I do appreciate how cool it all was to watch.

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