‘Sherlock Holmes,’ movie review

Robert Downey, Jr. as Sherlock Holmes  Image: Warner Bros.

Robert Downey, Jr. as Sherlock Holmes Image: Warner Bros.

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s famous sleuth gets a more than elementary treatment in the new Guy Ritchie film, Sherlock Holmes, featuring Robert Downey, Jr. as Holmes, Jude Law as his longsuffering (in more ways than one) sidekick, Dr. John Watson, Rachel McAdams as Holmes’ love interest/nemesis Irene Adler and Chris Strong as the villain Lord Blackwood. Suffice it to say though Holmes still has a predilection toward disguises, making loads of complex deductions from thimblefuls of information and inhabiting 221 B Baker Street, also has ripped abs and seems to be a regular in the London Fight Club. Perhaps Brad Pitt and Edward Norton should have made an appearance.

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.

Chris Strong as Blackwood (l) and Robert Downey, Jr, as Holmes in <i>Sherlock Holmes</i>

Chris Strong as Blackwood (l) and Robert Downey, Jr, as Holmes in Sherlock Holmes


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.

Marty Duren

Just a guy writing some things.

  • Warren

    I wasn’t blown away or disappointed. Just entertained for a couple of hours. I did think that the sets and wardrobe were well done. As for the accents, I agree with you.

  • Devan

    While I wasn’t blown away by the movie either, I found it to be one of my favorites, mostly because I enjoy detective stories and this in my eyes is the best detective movie to come out yet. I do agree with the accents being a problem, and the movie moved so fast that it was difficult to try and keep up with Holmes. I liked the more rebellious and adventurous Holmes and I am glad that they didn’t go with his normal attire. I am excited for the second movie, though I expect it will dissappoint in some way or another. There were better movies released in the year, but I think Sherlock Holmes is on the list of the best of them.