Wednesday, December 30, 2009
Sherlock Holmes as action hero? Basil Rathbone is turning over in his grave. Director Guy Ritchie re-imagines the famous sleuth for the 21st century and the result is an over the top film starring Robert Downey Jr. as Holmes and Jude Law as Dr. Watson.
Mr. Ritchie bludgeons us with fast paced sights and sounds practically begging for approval. He might as well be screaming "isn't this fun?" and "isn't this exciting?" Mr. Downey Jr. appears to have free reign over the character and his usual charm and wit are overblown and his portrayal soon becomes tedious even as total mayhem erupts on screen. Mr. Law tries his best to reel things in but as written, his relationship with Holmes plays like an 19th century version of "I Love You, Man".
Rachel McAdams co-stars as Irene Adler, a character who's motives are unclear. We never learn much about her except that she can run from the sewers of London to the top of Tower Bridge in record time. Her relationship with Holmes seems to change with every scene and while enjoyable to watch, her acting is wasted on a hollow role.
You can't escape the ads and previews for this film so once it starts, you feel as though you've already seen it. This is an prime example of Hollywood overindulgence. The audience is force fed a Holiday meal that looks appetizing but once digested, leaves you stuffed, uncomfortable and not asking for seconds. Unfortunately, the end sets up a sequel anyway. We can only hope for more character and less effects.