Monday, 28 December 2009

Sherlock Holmes

Fun yet misguided ...

Sherlock Holmes (Robert Downey Jr.) and Dr. Watson (Jude Law) successfully complete another case when they are able to capture Lord Blackwood (Mark Strong) who is responsible for a series of ritualistic killings. Blackwood is sentenced to death and buried but when it is discovered that Backwood has been resurrected from the dead, Holmes and Watson are compelled to reopen the case.

The story contained in Sherlock Holmes is interesting albeit untamed. Plot development occurs at an almost rapid pace thus making the narrative seem more complicated than it perhaps is. It does not help matters that by the end of the film, almost every single scene seems to play some part in Holme's investigation: it feels forced at times and interactions feel scripted rather than natural. And for a film based on a highly intellectual detective, the logic of some scenes walks on thin ice. Nevertheless, Sherlock Holmes does contain some characteristics that were prevalent to the character in the original novels, such as the ability to fight. What is presented is a Sherlock Holmes who is just as capable physically as he is mentally. At first this may appear to overshadow Dr. Watson considerably, but thankfully Watson is shown to be Holme's equal allowing for a fair exchange in solving their case.

One of the interesting dynamics of the narrative comes from a couple of short segments where the audience is introduced, though loosely, to how Holmes contemplates overcoming an obstacle. This comes about a couple of times but only before he proceeds to completely defeat an opponent in hand-to-hand combat. However, this sort of scene never occurs when you would most want it to: when Holmes is using his intellectual prowess to discover clues for his investigation. Instead, Holmes is left keeping his intelligence a secret, which seems rather absurd at times considering how rapidly he is able to deduce information. It only becomes slightly more annoying when it is taken into consideration that there is very little in aid for the audience in terms of trying to piece together the criminals plan. Sherlock Holmes is less a crime mystery and more an action adventure but regardless of one's preference the film is a fun watch for the most part.

Acting is a far steadier factor for the film with Downey and Law putting a lot of energy into their roles. This pays off with both having evident charisma about them and their screen time together is easily among the best in the film. McAdams is not quite as consistent with the rare poorly delivered line yet any fault she may have is never detrimental. Strong provides a formidable villain in theory, but for all his character's intellect he is far too weak a character to ever feel like possibly ousting Holmes. This mainly comes down to a script which does not allow more scope for the character of Lord Blackwood.

19th Century London is portrayed rather extravagantly with some great shots of the architecture and the attached gloomy atmosphere of a society still caught up in the industrial revolution period. Action sequences do not share the same flair and while they are workable they could have been better. Additional, music adds to the Sherlock Holmes experience but it never really enhances it and so feels more of an afterthought in the entire filming process.

The film contains no sex or direct nudity and language is just as mild serving only a couple of profanities. On the other hand, violence does make up a part of the film though it is never gory and hardly bloody as punches are thrown along with gunfire, hangings and explosions.

There is no denying that this new Sherlock Holmes adaptation is all about making the titular character appear more modern and exciting to the audience. The film is enjoyable with solid acting and a commendable story, yet the script has not appeared to have been scrutinized enough with its rapid nature and odd illogical mishap. You'd almost wish that Holme's himself had been asked to look over the script for the one second it would require of him: the film's story would be tighter and better for it.


Screen date: 26 December 2009
Release date: 1 January 2010

1 comment:

watch movies online said...

Its extremely entertaining movie. I have read the Holmes story also and will recommend to all the one who do have read it will watch it out. It will be a fun to watch this movie.