Review Wednesday! Sherlock Holmes

This is my other new weekly feature! I write reviews for my school newspaper and I thought I should post them here, too. So! Every Wednesday, I'll have a new review up (I hope)! Here's today's, on the new Sherlock Holmes movie.

When the first Sherlock Holmes trailers came out months ago, devoted fans of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s brilliant mystery series were up in arms. Some were disgusted at the thought of their beloved stories being rebooted; others were excited to see a modern mind’s take on the characters. Now that the movie is out, they are still divided on whether or not it was a good adaptation. It isn’t based on a single book, but most resembles The Hound of the Baskervilles, with its slightly scary and supernatural plot.

Set in striking Victorian London, the film opens on Holmes, played by Robert Downey Jr. arriving on the scene as Lord Blackwood (Mark Strong) performs haunting magic on a frightened young woman. Holmes and his ever-present partner, Dr. John Watson (Jude Law) quickly take action and, after a short but action-filled sequence, allow for the local police to arrest and execute the villain.

The real story starts when Blackwood escapes from the grave. Holmes, enticed, takes the case immediately. Watson, on the verge of marriage, reluctantly takes on the case to have one last adventure with Holmes before he moves out with his fiancĂ©e. Along the way, the pair must contend with black magic, the bumbling officers of Scotland Yard, a few scary henchmen, and, perhaps worst of all, a former lover of Holmes’s: Irene Adler (Rachel McAdams).

Downey does a wonderfully weird job of playing the offbeat detective while Law holds his own as the pair exchange quips and even a punch or two that can only be described as affectionate. The chemistry between these two is perhaps the biggest draw of the movie. The writers take mostly serious characters and give them a refreshing, humorous spin. McAdams plays a believable crime queen, but unfortunately her character’s storyline and interaction with Holmes lacks chemistry and feels hastily tacked on. Many critics agree that Irene was added simply to give Holmes some kind of love interest to distract from the questionable relationship between him and Watson. Strong, too, does great as the intimidating and evil Blackwood.

The plot is nothing if not action-filled. Many parts are exhausting. Sometimes this is a good thing; the viewer can almost feel the adrenaline in Holmes’s veins as he and Watson attempt to save Irene from a gruesome end at the hands of Blackwood. Sometimes, however, scenes are exhausting simply because one is tired of watching a fight in slow motion and then quickly for the third or fourth time. In a movie that sometimes lacks in actual storyline, the action carries the viewer along.

Another great thing about Sherlock Holmes is the set and costumes. The London of the film is beautiful, though dirty, and the period clothing, particularly McAdams’s, is gorgeous. There’s always something to look at in this film, though it moves quickly and doesn’t focus on one place or event very long at all.

Sherlock Holmes has a good, if open ended conclusion, probably leaving the opportunity for a sequel. Though the actual mystery of the film is intriguing, the best reason to see this is to see a movie full of action and humor.

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kaleidoscopeexplosion said...

You write so eloquently :) This is a fun feature i can't wait to read more! xoxo

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