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Movie Review: Sherlock Holmes

Alternate Title: Clueless

Story: No shit, Sherlock is an old expression in response to someone's stating the obvious. No shit, Guy Ritchie is my new expression for what this director has done to the master detective's reputation. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle wrote four novels and fifty-six short stories that featured Sherlock Holmes. The famous detective first appeared in print in 1888. Director Guy Ritchie decided it was time to bring back this popular franchise. He was aided and abetted by writer Michael Robert Johnson, Anthony Peckham and Simon Kinberg.

My Sherlock Holmes is famous for his intellectual prowess and skillful use of astute observation, deductive reasoning and forensic skills to solve difficult cases. Guy Ritchie's Sherlock Holmes spends most of his time fighting, running through the streets of London and hiding out in his frighteningly dirty apartment at 221B Baker Street.

What? I haven't even discussed the plot yet? No shit, Sherlock. Plot seems to be the missing element in this film. In between all of the fight scenes, a very sketchy plot does emerge. The evil Lord Blackwood is hung for practicing black magic and killing five innocents. He manages to rise from the dead and swears to seek revenge, take over Parliament and ultimately the world. A tall order, indeed.

Is there any saving grace to this film? Absolutely. Watching Robert Downey Jr is always good cinema. Introducing Sherlock Holmes to a new generation of kids is a good thing. Many people only know Sherlock Holmes from Star Trek's many homage's to him on the Holodeck. Speaking of the Holodeck. I went to this film at the request of my good pal, Carol (who is also a Trekkie and a Sherlockkie like me). More on what Carol thought below in Theater Audience category.

Parts of the film do show a glimmer of what could have been but they are few and far between. Perhaps if this is going to become a new franchise future films would be much improved by a different director. That is elementary, my dear readers, elementary.

One more thing. See? This review is just like the movie - it goes on and on. After getting home from this film I decided I needed to cleanse my palate of this newest version of Sherlock Holmes and watched a 1946 Sherlock Holmes film on TV, that I had DVR'd from TCM last weekend. It was called Terror by Night. It was just what I needed. Thanks, Basil Rathbone.


Watch the trailer here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ITU27Sxzi9w

Acting: Robert Downey Jr. as Sherlock Holmes is always good no matter the schlocky script he is given. Jude Law was fine as Dr. John Watson. Rachel McAdams as Irene Adler was a throw away part in order for 21 year old guys to get their dates to this movie. Mark Strong as Lord Blackwood was very evil. He reminded me of Nosferatu. Eddie Marsan as Inspector Lestrade always gives a good performance and Kelly Reilly as Dr Watson's Mary Morstan really did not have much to do.

Trivia: Director Guy Ritchie is dyslexic and dropped out of school when he was 15. There is a web site dedicated to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle - http://www.sherlockholmesonline.org/. For some more interesting reading check out the Chronicles of Dir Arthur Conan Doyle at this site. http://www.siracd.com/

Predilection: I like Sherlock Holmes.

Critters: An annoying crow (or raven) and a cute bulldog.

Food: Not much time to eat in this brawling film.

Sex Spectrum: None

Soundtrack: Loud

Opening Titles: All credits at the end of the film.

Visual Art: Oh those CGI artists sure do not have to worry about unemployment. The film industry must have thousands of these lucky people making films.

Theater Audience: As noted above, my pal Carol wanted to see this film. I decided to go at her convenience to a late afternoon show. Gasp. So many people in my secret balcony it is alas, is no secret anymore. Carol bet me before the film began that she would like it more than I would. She was on. Guess what? She hated the film and said she would give it only 3 Carol Cheers. She also was fixated on the fact that Robert Downey Jr reminded her of Stephen Colbert and Lord Blackwood reminded her of Matt Lauer so she could not get those two images out of her head. I did not agree but got a hearty laugh out of the idea.

Weather: It is London. It has all sorts of weather.

Sappy Factor: 0

Quirky Meter: 0

Squirm Scale: 0

Drift Factor: Oh my yes. I drifted a lot and started to look at my watch only 35 minutes into the film.

Predictability Level: Over the top.

Tissue Usage: 0

Oscar Worthy: No

Big Screen or Rental: Neither.

Length: Way too long at over two hours and some odd minutes.