Director Guy Ritchie has always made films with pretty small budgets, and I’ve always wondered what he could accomplish with a big budget film. Now I know, and I was impressed. Sherlock Holmes was a really big film for Warner Bros. this year, they dumped a lot of money into it, and put it into the hands of a director that hasn’t made a decent movie in a long time. I wasn’t sure if Ritchie would be able to pull this movie off, but he did it wonderfully, and I’m happy to see that he’s still got some mad directing skills. I haven’t been blown away by anything he’s made since Snatch, but he took Sherlock Holmes to a level of greatness that I wasn’t expecting.
This film is an adaptation from the classic Arthur Conan Doyle character that we all know and love, Sherlock Holmes, and this newest film is unlike any other Sherlock Holmes film we’ve ever seen before, and I thought it was great.
Holmes is a hardcore, indecently messy, bad-ass that is smarter than hell. I loved how Robert Downey Jr. played the character, he really was perfect for this role. He’s just such a charismatic actor that is able to bring this nutty, loose canon, smart ass character to life.
Holmes is always planning ahead, and he’s always three or four steps ahead of everyone he comes in contact with. The guy is always in control, even when it seems like he’s not. There are a couple great scenes where Holmes plans out ahead of time just exactly how he is going to beat the crap out of a person, knowing every move that the other person will make. Because Holmes is always in control he causes the effect that starts the reaction to the ultimate outcome. Like in a dance he leads the fight until he chooses to end it.
I thought the story was really fun, and I enjoyed watching the events of it unfold on screen. Not only was the story decent, but it was loaded with some great fight and action sequences, which is definitely new to the world of the Sherlock Holmes that we have all come to know. The film takes everything we’ve ever loved about Holmes and adds on a great new level gritty badassery.
The story takes place in London during the late 1900’s, Holmes longtime partner Dr. Watson is in the process of moving onto a new chapter in his life with the woman he is about to marry, and Holmes feels he is on the verge of losing his best friend. This story line plays through the film and adds a fun little dynamic to the big story that surrounds it. There’s a string of ritualistic murders going on in London, Holmes and Watson catch the guy in the act who is known as Lord Blackwood. Blackwood claims to have a connection to dark and powerful forces and uses them to carry out the evil deeds that he has planned. Racing to stop Blackwood's deadly plot, Holmes and Watson plunge into a world of the dark arts and startling new technologies. They use not only their brains but their brawn to get to the bottom of what is really going on.
The film was developed on a grand scale. I really liked the grey, muddy, gritty look of London. Much of the city is rebuilt in CG, and I thought they did a fine recreating it. I liked looking at the cityscapes used in the film and getting an idea on what everything looked like so long ago. There are points where you can tell the shot is very CG, but it wasn't distracting at all, unless you are purposely looking for all of the little faults.
I couldn’t help but love the relationship between Holmes and Watson in this film. They have a great dynamic connectivity with one another. They brought the best and the worst personality traits out of each other like any relationship does. These two guys both have very different personalities, they are very much the complete opposite of each other, but the bond of friendship they have built keeps them together, and they will do whatever it takes to take care of one another. In this story like I said earlier, Watson is looking to get out, and Holmes does all that he can to keep his friend and partner from running away with woman that he loves. He just doesn’t want to lose his friend.
Downey Jr. and Jude Law who plays Watson have a great chemistry on film together. It’s like these two guys have been working together already for years. Both of these performances were perfect. I also have to say it was great to see Law once again, in another great role. It seems like it’s been awhile.
Ultimately, Sherlock Holmes was a blast to watch! I was hooked from the very beginning, and when it ended I wanted to see more. They definitely left the story wide open for a sequel, which I am already looking forward to seeing. As long as Ritchie, Downey, and Law team back up to create more interesting and great Holmes stories that will play more with the dynamics of these characters and move the story forward, then I am looking forward to more movies from this exciting and fun new Sherlock Holmes franchise.
I definitely recommend you go out to see Sherlock Holmes when you get the chance. I’m pretty sure you’ll enjoy it.
If you have seen it then please tell us what you thought!