Edgy, my dear Holmes?
WARNING: Hard core fans of Conan Doyles hero, I ask that you not to be indulgent but open minded, and non judgmental. Give yourself to rediscover Holmes and non-fans, discover him.
Downey Jr, small but fit, blood smeared and sweaty faces a thug, double his size. A little voice in his head methodically, logically, precisely calculates how to defeat his opponent. Which he then does. One of my favourite scenes in the film. But Sherlock Holmes just happens to be in a boxing ring.
You cannot deny, this is a fun film, in fact it’s a CRACKER of a film, but it isn’t Holmes, at least not like we’ve always known him! Now don’t get me wrong, I liked that Ritchie gives his Holmes brains and brawn, and all those bits of smart deductive reasoning were actually my favourite parts of the film and I wish he’d stayed with them more. But Ritchie takes HOLMES into a whole, new terrain giving us a thumping, racing, action packed, fantasy adventure complete with classic good versus evil and age old magic! While stuff gets melodramatic especially in the second half, the accents are sometimes garbled/difficult to understand, the plot is crowded, and lacks that simple elegance and layered wit of the originals, and the films sets things up ALL too easily for a sequel, Ritchie does it all with sweeping confidence, fabulous costumes, fantastic cinematography, a moody atmosphere, and a an irresistible leading pair.
Eccentric, gruff and often very funny, Downey Jr, is at is wide eyed, intelligent best and makes for a tiny, power-packed, not always ‘stable’ but incredibly bright modern day Holmes, and the chemistry between LAW & him like an old school screwball comedy is lively, palpable, and engaging and holds this one together. (Again, the better parts of the film are all those bits of repartee, comraderie, domestic issues, fisticuffs and the relationship between not just detective and sidekick but also friends, brothers, roommates. Any underlying homoerotic tendencies are open to debate… as we know both Holmes addiction issues and homosexuality have always been open ended questions… hmmm)
The start of what is obviously going to be a franchise, GUY RITCHIE’s HOLMES offers little in terms of plot but sails through on the strength of its characters, concept and two central actors. lets hope the next one stays with them more and keeps things a little simpler and frill-less. Nonetheless, LAW & DOWNEY JR. are the cooolest duo around at the movies for now! and this one is a contemporary, stylish, beautiful to watch version of Conan Doyle’s famous detective hero stamped with Ritchie’s trademarks- darkly comic, often violent, always clever and very entertaining on a scale even the director hasnt ventured into before this!
Monday, January 11, 2010
Edgy, my dear Holmes?