Friday, April 2, 2010

Recharging a Classic: Take 2

Title: Sherlock Holmes
Format: Movie theater
Date Seen: Sometime in January
Category: Mystery/Action adventure/Thriller/Adaptation
Rating: A+

Like Star Trek, this movie worried me, as I love the old Basil Rathbone movies and the Jeremy Brett TV series. But this interpretation of Holmes differed so much from the originals that there was no means of comparison. This movie stands completely on its own.

Description (from Barnes & Noble): Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's famous super-sleuth, Sherlock Holmes, gets an update with this adaptation of Lionel Wigram's comic book series by writer/director Guy Ritchie starring Robert Downey Jr. as the titular detective, with Jude Law stepping into the shoes of his sidekick, Dr. Watson. Heading up the rest of the cast are Mark Strong as the film's villain, Blackwood, and Rachel McAdams portraying the love interest, Irene Adler.

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After leaving the movie theater, my brother, sister, and I were so excited about this film that we could not wait to tell our dad about it. He's the main Sherlock Holmes fan in the family, and thanks to his love of the series and resulting franchise, the rest of us are now hooked too.

The number one reason this movie is amazing is the cast. Robert Downey Jr., Jude Law, Mark Strong, Rachel McAdams-- all of them gave spectacular performances. Mark Strong is the epitome of evil. All other movie villains should take notes from him, not just for his portrayal of Lord Blackwood, but also for his roles as Nick in Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day and as Septimus in Stardust. He plays his roles so well, it's no surprise that he's currently Hollywood's first choice for the bad-guy roles. Jude Law and Rachel McAdams are consistently good actors, and in this movie, they are both excellent. Jude Law's portrayal of a Dr. Watson who is neither an idiot or an oaf is such a breath of fresh air. I love Nigel Bruce's bumbling, but Law's witty and heroic role was a much-needed change. My only complaint about Rachel McAdams, a.k.a Irene Adler, is that she wasn't in the movie enough. I hope that in the sequel (scheduled for release in 2011) she will have a much bigger part.

And then of course, there's Robert Downey Jr. in the starring role. He's the antithesis of Basil Rathbone with just a hint of Jeremy Brett. Coarse, quick-tempered, sharp-tongued, and at the same time, a dependent puppy dog who would do anything not to lose his faithful sidekick. This version of Holmes isn't refined, polite, upper class. Robert Downey Jr. plays him perfectly too. I feel that his acting now, as well as his looks, are so much improved since he grew up and got off the drugs.

The movie was so exciting, and kept me on the edge of my seat. The final revelation or should I say how-he-did-it scene that is quintessential to any Sherlock Holmes adaptation was just perfect. And because this adaptation was so very different from the originals, I never felt compelled to compare it with them. I just loved it! When the sequel comes out, I will be there opening night. A+

1 comment:

  1. Best. Movie. Ever. Well, not really... but, it is amazing!!


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