Finally, a review title that sounds like a 1970s blaxploitation character. Maybe this gimmick will work out after all.
Last weekend my wife brought home Guy Ritchie’s Sherlock Holmes on DVD for evening viewing. I had no desire to see this film in the theater or on DVD, but Saturday nights are about watching DVDs and marriage is about compromise.
I had heard that the story was nonsensical and the whodunit reveal at the end came completely out of left field, so I was pleasantly surprised by how well the story held together. It was an adequate mystery that felt enough like a Holmes story to cut the mustard. I liked that they started the franchise off with an established Holmes-Watson relationship and that Moriarty was involved but not as the main villain.
I completely understand the need to do something fresh when adapting something as worn as Sherlock Holmes or Robin Hood, but many of choices didn’t work for me. In trying to emphasize the rough and crazy side of Holmes, Downey’s portrayal got off track. Indeed Holmes was a neurotic badass, but he also took himself extremely seriously and rarely lost control of a situation. With those personality traits altered, Downey’s character just didn’t feel like Holmes.
The Irene Adler character was so completely wrong I don’t even know where to start. Ultimately she adds up to a boring character that shouldn’t have any appeal to a man like Holmes.
The cinematography felt like every other Guy Ritchie movie, for better or worse. For me it’s definitely worse, but Ritchie fans should be pleased.
No thanks. If I need a Sherlock Holmes fix, I’ll revisit the 80s and 90s British TV series starring Jeremy Brett. That version of Holmes showed some of the edginess played up in this movie without losing any of the essence of the character.