The theme of the story is the apparent resurrection of a Lord Blackwood, a murderous cult member convicted in the ceremonial death of five women. After being pronounced dead by hanging (by Watson himself) Blackwood’s tomb is found empty and more deaths ensue, especially some who might stand in Blackwood’s way of becoming the not-so-rightful leader of both England and America. Everything that Blackwood does gives the appearance of the dark arts which, combined with his apparent resurrection, strike fear into the hearts of Londoners with the police depending on Holmes and Watson to bring things to a solution.
The movie features more action than I remember in The Hound of the Baskervilles with numerous fights, explosions and chases. It also has a significant amount of humor, much of it related to Watson’s impending engagement to Mary Morstan (Kelly Reilly) and Holmes repeated lampooning of the police captain.
Overall, Sherlock Holmes is a fun film, but not a completely satisfying film. Much dialogue was unintelligible due to accents, mumbling or comments made under the breath of the one speaking. Since Holmes always-always-finds a logical reason for everything that he investigates, the supernatural aspect of the story could be dismissed at once by the viewer, while the explanations offered by Holmes depended on so much arcane information (which is typical of Doyle’s creation) that I thought, “How in the world is anyone supposed to figure this out?” Realistically we are not supposed to figure it out; we are supposed to be in awe of Holmes. All in all the film is worth a single viewing, though I will not buy the DVD when it becomes available.
Sherlock Holmes, from Warner Brothers and Village Roadshow Pictures, is rated PG-13 for intense sequences of violence and action, some startling images and a scene of suggestive material. There are no swear words that I remember.