Sherlock Holmes: A Curious Impliment of Veracious Ideology (review)

Sherlock Holmes: A Curious Impliment of Veracious Ideology (review)

Holmes is finally brought to us in a high gear in your face modernized depiction, but is it good?

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By Stumblin - 12/28/2009
"Sherlock Holmes" directed by Guy Ritchie starring Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law in this new take on one of the most known fictional detectives of our time. It's full of action though it has plenty of mystery solving to keep the film grounded and stay true to Sherlock Holmes, at least enough to make it still feel like Sherlock Holmes.

Acting: Everyone fills their rolls well, Downey's take on Holmes is perfect, his expressions and personality fit the new Holmes without losing what made this detective special. Law's Watson was also refreshing, and both Downey and Law's chemistry felt genuine and they reminded me of my friend who is practically like a brother to me, always bickering and pushing each other's buttons. Rachel McAdams plays Holme's love interest Irene Adler, who also happens to be a criminal. I can't help but note the somewhat similarity between Holmes with Adler and Batman with Catwoman. However, that's not a bad thing, I like the awkward relationship of opposites attracting though I felt her acting was a little flat it did not take away from the enjoyment of the film. Then you have the main villain Lord Blackwood, played by Mark Strong who honestly after seeing this movie I could see him as Dr. Doom. He did a great job filling the roll of a dark mastermind wishing for world domination. The rest of the supporting cast was great as well, really nothing stood out as out of place or under skilled.

CGI: Yep, their was some believe it or not, but thankfully not too much. I could only say that the scene on the partially constructed bridge stood out to me as fake. Maybe it was the unnatural way the camera panned around the structure, but I wasn't all too impressed and was quite noticable.

Cinematography: Ritchie's angles, camera pans, and slow motion placement made this a fun ride, though occasionally overbearing. The slow motion was done tastefully, I was worried it was going to be a knock off from Zack Snyder's style of action, but instead it helped ground Holmes as not someone who is kung-fu master but a man who calculates every single movement depending on environment and the type of opponent. You couldn't help but smile every time Homles brought a beat down on someone. Speaking of beat down...

Action: Lots of action though tastefull as I said, Holmes calculating his movements, Watson is more handgun oriented, but this doctor will most certainly kick your ass. Their team ups were a blast, bickering even as they duel with multiple foes. Then you have the introduction of the main muscle of this opposing villainous gang, a giant French man who appears numerous times and every time it's like watching a cartoon seeing him take on two tiny intellectual men.

Dialogue: I was surprised on how clever this really was, I even noted some quotes from Holmes that derived from the original stories. Downey did a terrific job making you believe his silver tongue and trying to make sense of his overly exaggerated depictions of his every thought. This movie really only had one cringe moment which was Watson exclaiming, "Relax, I'm a doctor." I shrugged this one off, I think the writers were trying a little too hard on that one.

Music: The score in this was well done, it met with the demands of the feelings being portrayed in every scene. Nothing out of place here, it was spot on!

Sound FX: Simply perfect.

---------------------------------Conclusion-------------------------------------

Overall this movie was very enjoyable and original, it even includes some old familiar characters from the original stories and has the perfect set up for a sequel, one that I hope gets made. This movie almost made me think of a real life Scooby-Doo mystery, minus the crappyness, the explanations of the mystical events that take place and Holmes noting the smallest of details throughout the film makes Downey a very convincing Sherlock. Though I notice some call this movie a main-stream representation, I'd have to disagree. Sure their are moderate uses of explosions and fighting, but I believe it's just making Sherlock Holmes more realistic considering, his fighting techniques are unknown to the general public, and these particular styles fit the characters well without feeling out of place.

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33 Comments
thwhtGuardian - 12/28/2009, 12:28 PM
I think what made this great was that it wasn't a new take on Holmes but rather an actual close adaption of the original character. Holmes was never the dapper well dressed hero that we usually see him portrayed as, rather he was an "untidy bohemian with an eclectic and mismatched wardrobe". For the first time on film we get to see the real Holmes, and it was awesome.
Stumblin - 12/28/2009, 12:41 PM
Hell yeah it was Guardian, this felt more real than the prudish Holmes that most think of when they hear his name. This was a fantastic movie, and original, you couldn't ask for more.
StephenStrange - 12/28/2009, 12:51 PM
omg.. Stumblin this review rocks, baby. VERY well done. yeah I am REALLY excited to see this NOW!
Spilox - 12/28/2009, 1:26 PM
You are so right thwhtGuardian, but it's so [frick]ing hard to explain this stuff to somebody that hasn't read the damn books :p.
This was a fantastic movie, and a fantastic review Stumblin ;)
Stumblin - 12/28/2009, 2:14 PM
Thanks for the compliment guys! This movie rocked the casbah harder than The Clash ever could!
dellamorte1872 - 12/28/2009, 10:06 PM
I SAW IT TONIGHT WITH MY GIRL, RATHER RELUCTANTLY, WE COULDNT FIND MUCH TO DO. THIS MOVIE BLEW! WE BOTH AGREED AFTERWARDS. AND I FOUND OUT ALSO THAT MY PARENTS SAW IT AND HATED IT! SO THATS 4 PEOPLE WHO FOUND IT CRAPPY. IT SUCKED AND I WONT BE SEEING THE SEQUEL!
BubbaDude - 12/29/2009, 5:52 AM
The movie looks good to me. I've read all the Holmes stuff, and the preview looks like a fair adaptation. However, the onew thing that bothers me is Holmes has a love interest? In the books, Watson could be quite the ladies man, in a restrained Victorian kind of way, but Holmes always just ignored women. I guess the filmakers don't want any kind of a 'gay' vibe.....



Adn BTW dellamorte....WTF?!?! I guess you were probably wanting professional wrestling or nascar, or something along those lines?
Stumblin - 12/29/2009, 7:42 AM
You might actually be right with the gay vibe Bubba, who knows with these Hollywood studios? I don't mind him having a love interest with a complete opposite set of morals, that and he doesn't really stick with her, I'm sure it'll stay quite like Batman and Catwoman's relationship, they may scrump but they're hardly together.

Dellamorte, I wasn't aware we were having a who likes it or dislikes it contest. If you hate it that's fine, at least give us some references to why you hated it, otherwise you have as much credibility to tell me something sucks as a six year old.
Christuffer - 12/29/2009, 8:19 AM
I disagree on the dialogue part; I don't remember any cringe moments.

But the CGI part, yeah, that's disappointing. It was almost like old-style Indiana Jones, but knowing that there was CGI sort of makes the movie less believable. The title and end sequences where everything looked like a comic strip illustration was cool though.

I think this movie was awesome! Hearing the term "mainstream" is irritating however.
Stumblin - 12/29/2009, 8:29 AM
I agree Fartman the mainstream usage is a tad annoying.

I mentioned one cringe moment that was Watson's quote. It just felt forced to me, the rest of the dialogue I thoroughly enjoyed.
Stumblin - 12/29/2009, 9:06 AM
Thanks gtrman! And you were right about where the quote was from, by the way, I loved that French giant that guy was great, and even though I saw it a dozen times in the previews, when Holmes throws the tiny hammer at him I still laugh.
dellamorte1872 - 12/29/2009, 9:24 AM
if y'all cant figure it out forself......what can i tell ya, i dont need to support my opinion. it just sucked on many levels. i wont get into it. but lets just say for starters "it tried waaaaaaay too hard"
Stumblin - 12/29/2009, 9:38 AM
You're right you don't need to support your opinion, but it helps especially if you want anyone to even take what you said with a grain of salt. I can tell you why I liked it, but you can't seem to give me one viable reason why you don't, what does "...tried waaaaaaaay too hard" mean? What was it trying to do? Seriously man, if you have a point make it otherwise you're like a pot trying to boil water but you have one big freakin' hole in the bottom.
dellamorte1872 - 12/29/2009, 10:51 AM
TRIED WAY TO HARD TO PLEASE EVERYONE. EVERY DEMOGRAPHIC. I LOVE RDJ HE DOES HAVE CHARISMA. BUT IT WAS PAINFUL TO WATCH THIS TIME AROUND. TOO MANY EXPLOSIONS TOO MUCH "ACTION" NOT ENOUGH MYSTERY. TRIED WAY TOO HARD? IN MANY WAYS....PERFORMANCE WISE, DIRECTING. IT WAS GOING FOR THE "FAMILY MYSTERY MOVIE" AND DONT SAY KIDS DONT WATCH IT CAUSE WHEN WE SAW IT WE WERE SURROUNDED BY 14 YR OLDS.
Stumblin - 12/29/2009, 11:16 AM
Ah there we go, you have some reasoning to your hatred for this film! Good. I wasn't going to say anything about kids not watching this, it's rated PG-13 why wouldn't kids watch this? I think it had a fair share of both action and mystery, you can't expect a guy to run around solving crimes without eventually running into confrontation. And the explosions? Their was one scene with explosions, that was it, unless you count the (spoiler) guy catching on fire after shooting the gun.
dellamorte1872 - 12/29/2009, 11:46 AM
the plot was a flimsy excuse for the characters to "look cool, and run around alot" with some action beats "thrown in".
Stumblin - 12/29/2009, 12:03 PM
I thought the plot was pretty solid and helped introduce a well known adversary. What about it was flimsy? I know we agree to disagree, I just enjoy a good debate.

By the way, where are these quotes coming from?
EasterBunnyReject - 12/29/2009, 12:21 PM
This isn't by any means my favorite film of all time or anything, but I do find it rather impressive. More so the longer I think about this film. I consider myself to be a fan of Sherlock Holmes (the character), not a die-hard-read-every-book kind of fan, mind you, but a fan.

That being said, I've done some research on the bits and pieces of the character that i'm not too familiar with and have found that this portrayal of the character is really quite true to the stories. I was pleasantly surprised to see the "V.R" that Sherlock had shot into the walls of his flat. One of many small nods to the books.
thwhtGuardian - 12/29/2009, 2:00 PM
The plot was far from flimsy, and as far as not containing any mystery elements than I think we must have been watching different movies as the clues were there for everyone to see...I mean it even flashed back to him finding the clues again at the end just in case you missed them. If you need it spelled out, the mystery was whether Blackwood was actually using magic or whether it was some ruse, and to that end it did very well, the clues that pointed to him being a fraud were very subtle and i think brilliant. Most mystery movies have a habit of leaving out the clues or only reveal them at the end. Case in point: the Usual Suspect. The whole time you have no reason to distrust Verbal's story until the end when all the clues that he was lying are revealed, but until that moment they weren't visible clues, however in Holmes the clues were all there for the audience right from the get go to judge whether Blackwood was using science or Alchemy.
dellamorte1872 - 12/29/2009, 3:01 PM
it was an excuse to help "intro" prof. m. it was obvious RDJ wanted them to build up the character a la MANDARIN IN IRON MAN. sherlock holmes doesnt need to be pioneering "new age forensics" lol! a mystery involving "alchemy"? how would his plot to "rule the world" succed just b/c a few members of parliment were killed? the guy would be stopped! the guy couldnt "fool" the world lol.
dellamorte1872 - 12/29/2009, 3:40 PM
RDJ was playing "rdj with a quipster demeanor and english drawl" who fancied himself sherlock holmes.
thwhtGuardian - 12/29/2009, 5:05 PM
The whole point of Sherlock Holmes was that he was using forensics...most of the stories revolve around him detailing new methods of detection...I mean the whole first half of study in scarlet detailed how he studied soil from around London, and how deep different gun shot wounds went into the body so he could easily identify the caliber used.And Holmes often went up against opponents who attempted to use mystic means to hide their true crime, so that's nothing knew... and a few members? He would have killed all but the few who followed him...that would have thrown the country into turmoil, ripe for the picking.


I don't think you have a very firm grasp on what Holmes is all about.
dellamorte1872 - 12/30/2009, 6:45 AM
please...in no novel does he "burn this chemical to that" like he did with the paper. and watson did the majority of it. no way watson and holmes were on the same wave-length intellectually. in this movie watson was more informed and not the "idiot to help the audience identify with the mystery" the villians plot was weak, and the fact that you say it isnt? have you read the novels? holmes never goes up against "chemical weapons"
Stumblin - 12/30/2009, 9:20 AM
I don't know dellamorte, in a time when people would believe in such fantastic powers I don't see why it's not feasible. Watson and Holmes were definitely not on the same wavelength as you put it, Holmes was always noticing elements that Watson would over look. How is the chemical mixing take away from Holmes? It's a form of forensics and fits, granted yes a bomb made in that time period is odd, but it gives the whole story some new life. That's how I see it anyway.
thwhtGuardian - 12/30/2009, 12:00 PM
The thing with the letter is an old technique dellamorte, something elementary school science teachers have been doing for years...so it's not like Watson was re-sequencing the human genome or anything. And Watson was never an idiot, so again I say you've never really read the books. And chemical weapons wouldn't have been alien to Holmes, as scientists of the time suggested the weaponization of both chlorine gas and cacodyl cyanide. Although neither weapon was used in warfare because generals thought them to be "ungentlemanly" they were not unknown in Holmes time and a terrorist group with dreams of world domination certainly wouldn't have similar ideas of gentleman like conduct so they might consider using such a weapon.

So now we can chalk up history as well as Holmes to the list of things you know little about.
Stumblin - 12/30/2009, 12:42 PM
Good point Guardian, I don't know much about this time frame or the original story, but I do know one thing, it was good.
thwhtGuardian - 12/30/2009, 1:08 PM
I can understand not liking the movie, different strokes for different folks, and if he'd say it just wasn't his kind of movie I'd be fine with that but his reasons are just plain wrong. Chemical warfare has been around for ever, it was just considered unsporting to use it in battle during the Victorian era. And although there are no original stories mentioning Holmes knowledge of such weapons it is reasonable to assume that he would have known about them, as their use was a controversial topic that was widely debated at the time.

His characterizations are off as well; Watson was never shown to be an idiot, in the novels Watson is a highly decorated officer and a very competent surgeon. So while his skills of observation were not on the level of Holmes he was far from an idiot, and he was portrayed as such in this movie.

It sounds a lot like his knowledge of Sherlock Holmes comes strictly from the older movies where Holmes was the erudite English gentleman and Watson was the over weight bumbling side kick...when in actuality Holmes was considered by most to be a dreg of society and Watson was handsome and some what of a ladies man at times.
Stumblin - 12/30/2009, 1:38 PM
Word Guardian, actually do you have an recommendations for Sherlock Holmes, this movie sparked my interest in his stories.
thwhtGuardian - 12/30/2009, 2:04 PM
I think the best place to start is at the beginning with "A Study in Scarlet" it's Doyle's first Holmes story and it introduces all the major characters. From there I'd suggest "The Sign of the Four" and, "The Hound of The Baskervilles".

The last of those three being the most similar to the movie as it deals with a mythical beast as a cover for murder.

Also I enjoy the short story, "The Red Headed League" it's quick and fun. Also, though not by Doyle, Shadows Over Baker Street is a nice collection of stories by modern authors that pit Holmes mind against myth and monsters. Neil Gaiman had a good story in there if I remember correctly.
Stumblin - 12/30/2009, 2:14 PM
Sweet, thanks man I'll definitely check those out, soon as I finish "Bone."
dellamorte1872 - 12/31/2009, 7:02 AM
no.....the "idiot" who relates well to the audience who identifies what people in the audience were thinking. he's a doctor! i just meant next to holmes he's supposed to not have the intellectual MIND of holmes. but in this movie they are portrayed as almost equals intellectually. holmes is just a lil quicker, despite his "ocd" they potray
Stumblin - 12/31/2009, 9:46 AM
Dellamorte, stop using the quotation marks! I mean I'm far from perfect with English grammar, but quotations do two things, quote and note a title of a book or movie, not to put emphasis.

Sorry this was off topic it was just bothering me.

As for the topic on hand, Watson still related to the viewer by providing a sane intellect. Though I'll let Guardian take it from here he knows a hell'uva lot more about these characters than I do, I'm just going by what I saw in the movie.
thwhtGuardian - 12/31/2009, 11:14 AM
He was in no way portrayed as Holmes equal in the movie, your last claim that he was an equal was that he produced the text from the burnt letter but as I explained that was far from extraordinary. Even given that, it should be noted that he has performed the same task in the novels not once but twice before, it was supposed to be a little Easter egg for fans of the novels like Holmes trying to develop the silencer.

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