I’ve noticed that more often than not if you put good fight scenes in a movie I’ll probably like it. Sherlock Holmes was no exception. But in fairness, there was more to the movie than awesome cane fights. Bartitsu I believe the style is called.
Robert Downey Jr. played a world weary, and simply bored Sherlock Holmes. While it certainly wasn’t what I was expecting Sherlock Holmes to behave like, I somewhat enjoyed the new twist. Now keep in mind that I don’t know much about the original novels, so I can’t really say what the reaction of Sherlock Holmes fans will be. Overall, Holmes was as ingenious as he’s always portrayed, but the movie focused on his martial arts skills much more than any previous incarnation I’ve come across.
Jude Law, while not what I imagine when I think of Watson (I usually think of him as being chubby, then again that might just be the aftermath of The Great Mouse Detective) still played an excellent foil for Downey’s Holmes. Watson is tired of Holmes’ eccentricity, and trying to become his own man one could say. Of course, being the eternal sidekick he always comes back to Holmes’ side. I know that might sound a bit like a gay joke, and I apologize, but in my defense, the movie made the joke first.
Other than that I spent most of the movie wondering what the heck was going on. The moment the word ‘magic’ left an actor’s mouth, I was cringing inside. Of course everything is resolved towards the end. In all fairness, this isn’t the first time Holmes’ has been confronted by the supernatural and proven it to be simply smoke and mirrors. And science. Just think back on The Hound of the Baskervilles, admittedly the only Sherlock Holmes book I ever read.
While the characters have been modernized in a sense, I think overall this movie brings needed attention to one of the great literary characters. Personally I feel like hunting down the original books and giving them a read through.
The funniest part about the movie is that I spent most of the time drawing connections between Sherlock Holmes and Batman. I know, to some of you literary types (what are you doing reading this blog?) this may sound crass, but I’m not the first one who made the connection. But combine a superb analytical mind, excellent hand to hand combat skills, sans the bat motif, and you have a very likely inspiration for the Batman character.
Not to mention it doesn’t help when you add in the sidekick (Watson wins many, many bonus points by not wearing anything remotely similar to the Robin costume), the love interest who also happens to be the only criminal that ever bested him, the ally in the Police force, and an introduction of his main nemesis in a way very reminiscent to the introduction of the Joker at the end of Batman Begins.
I can tell a lot of effort was put into this film, and it shows. Overall an enjoyable experience, and a good introduction to some classic characters. Though I won’t be surprised when the original character turns out to be completely different from this movie’s portrayal.
Also, I think it featured the guy who played the giant in Big Fish, but he appears to be uncredited, so I’m not sure what to make of that. I’m pretty sure it was him.
I also call shenanigans on the trailer for Cop Out looking like a Batman trailer at first.