SHERLOCK HOLMES (2009)


Director: Guy Ritchie

Writers: Michael Robert Johnson and Anthony Peckham

Cast: Robert Downey, Jr., Jude Law, Rachel McAdams, Mark Strong, Kelly Riley, Eddie Marsan, Robert Maillet, Geraldine James...

Runtime: 128 min
Rating: PG-13 (for intense sequences of violence and action)
Available on DVD

Genre: Mystery/crime

Reviewed by Cherie Jung

Once again, the good guys (Holmes and Watson) are called upon to save the world from some sinister bad guy set on overthrowing law and order in order to rule the world as he thinks it should be run. The plan? Essentially, get rid of his opponents and keep the remaining peasants in their place through fear and intimidation. Decent enough plan, I suppose. Toss in some black magic, a few henchmen to do your bidding and what have you got? A good shot at conquering the lowly masses until Sherlock Holmes starts messing about in your plan.

I'm not one of those Holmes purists who adamantly believe that so-and-so (name your favorite actor here) is the one and only person to properly portray the popular Consulting Detective in the long history of Sherlocks... (My personal favorite is Jeremy Brett, but I've also enjoyed Michael Caine, Basil Rathbone, and others. I'm not found of the recent Canadian actors who tackled the role but there you go.) I have no problem with Robert Downey, Jr.'s rough and tumble portrayal of Holmes, or of Jude Law's reluctant yet also rough and tumble portrayal of Dr. John Watson. I did find the some of the other characters mildly annoying (such as Rachael McAdams's Irene Adler, Kelly Riley's Mary Morsten, and Geraldine James as Mrs. Hudson). The villains weren't villainous enough for me, and they were rather predictable. (Professor Moriarity with chalk on his lapel? That's the only clue Holmes needs? Pul-eese! Give me a break!)

But back to the bad guys for a moment. Why does Lord Blackwood (Mark Strong) look like Count Dracula for goodness sake?!?

Inspector Lestrade (Eddie Marsan) and Constable Cark (William Houston) were fun characters in the police contingency.

Aside from being way too long and way too slow to get to the point - or the crime - or the intended crime, I should say, the portrayals of Holmes and Watson were kind of fun. The cinematography, however, detracted from my enjoyment of the movie. No doubt lots of time and money went into creating Holmes's London but it felt more suitable for the likes of The League of Extraordinary Gentleman.

I would have been disappointed if I had paid full price to see this movie in a theater, but since I borrowed the DVD from a friend, it was worth the price (free). A rental wouldn't be outrageous either but I do think you should watch the movie before you buy it. Make sure it's "your cup of tea," as they say.

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