Fairly irritating editing from director who has done demonstrably better work in this area overcome by excellent performances and dialogue from principal cast; also, Kurrgan!
I was slightly peeved that they didn’t have a Mycroft cameo.
Actually what really peeved me were the critics. One of the local critics in Tampa – forget which paper – complained about McAdams’ performance as Irene Adler, specifically her lack of a Brit accent. Damn critic didn’t know that Doyle wrote Adler was from NEW JERSEY – and Adler even quips about it in the damn movie! And I’ve seen other critics complain about having Holmes as a boxer/martial artist when in stories like Sign of Four it spells out Holmes is a bare-knuckler and he mentions in another story – forgot which – of knowing a Japanese wrestling move. Gahh! IT’S CALLED RESEARCH YOU IDIOTS! Try reading some of the relevant stories before you complain about the movie(s) based on them!
At first I looked to see whether Clancy Brown was in the movie. Then I was confused, and just googled it. Then I was like “Oh yeah, that guy who was briefly in the WWF and part of The Oddities.”
All in all, that’s how you do an action-y Holmes story. Retains enough of the cerebral while still livening things up a bit (and no disrespect at all to those who prefer the older stories, but, so long as its done well, I see no reason not to give one of literature’s seminal figures a new lease on life beyond just being an archetype; of course, this is from someone who religiously watched “Sherlock Holmes in the 22nd Century” as a child).
Good character interaction, which mainly means they got a good Holmes/Watson dynamic. And bless them for having Watson actually be useful and not some fat old fool who Holmes tolerates to tag along with him. The stuff with Irene was a bit borderline in places (though I did like them showing exactly how she got the drug in the bottle without him noticing), though you come away seeing that Rachel MacAdams would indeed be a good choice to play Selina Kyle (which is clearly the basis for the character’s role here), something that’s been bandied around a lot.
Period detail was generally good, from what I saw (though that gathering of men at the end wasn’t large enough to be one house of Parliament, let alone both, which seemed to be the suggestion).
Minor pet peeve: Blackwood is constantly referred to as “Lord Henry Blackwood”, and said to be a member of the House of Lords. But that’s not an appropriate style for a member of the House of Lords. Titled individuals are referred to as “Lord ____”, or “Personal Name, Title Whatever”; first names are never interposed like that. “Lord Henry Blackwood” would be a style appropriate for the younger son of a Duke or Marquess (the eldest and heir would have a courtesy title of his own), not someone who actually holds a title of nobility.
Well, yes. I was amazed at how much I didn’t hate it. In fact, the more I think about it, the more I think I actually kind of liked it. Not enough to buy it, but the stuff that was completely absolutely wrong got shunted to the back of my mind.
I almost fell asleep during this movie. There was no real mystery to speak of, we know who the villain is the whole time, and I knew all of the “black magic” was just chemistry as soon as they showed the chemistry lab. The only part I thought was well done was when Holmes was changing his disguise while following Irene.
I knew the black magic was just chemistry as soon as I saw that it was a Sherlock Holmes movie, because this is a Sherlock Holmes movie and Holmes is about the triumph of facts and reasoning over superstition. The question was how would Holmes figure that out, and I wasn’t disappointed. (The best scene was probably the one in the Home Secretary’s office, where he simultaneously deduced the plan, figured out how to escape, and got out of his handcuffs.)
I thought that it was a wonderful adaptation; over the years, Holmes has gradually been made more stuffy and “safe” as we moved away from the Victorian era and the nuances of his character became lost without a contemporary background to place them against. Here, Holmes is once again a disreputable, unsavory type that the upper classes turn to when they must, and I loved that. (Yes, unquestionably, the editing was irritating at times. But not “Michael Bay” levels of irritating. 🙂 )
I don’t know who first came up with the “speeded up old film clip” style of flashback, but I want it to stop. Other than that, I thought it was a fun movie. Clever, a new interpretation on a classic character that doesn’t reinvent things it doesn’t need to, and able to lampshade some of the questions an audience would have (such as why Watson would put up with Holmes when he can be so unpleasant at times) without seeming fundamentally unsure of its source material.
All I want to know is whether it was a good mystery or not.
More faithful to “The Canon” than 90% of Holmes movies. Downey was a good Holmes and Law was a better Watson. Quibbles… but no complaints.
Still wanna see it. And Avatar, for that matter. Despite what you wieners say. =P
YES AWESOME DIALOGUE.
Did anyone else feel like the Holmes-Watson dynamic might have been influenced by House-Wilson on HOUSE?
I know, House is himself inspired by Sherlock Holmes. But the “Holmes ‘forgets’ his pistol because he knows Watson will come running after him with it and Watson totally knows this but totally does it anyway” thing really reminded me of House-Wilson.
Also- the entire movie I was SURE that the villain was played by Andy Garcia (even with all the closeup shots and everything). I’m kinda creeped out that two people can look that much alike.
I am never going to see this film. I don’t care how good it is, how excellent the acting is, or how sharp the writing is. I am never going to see it because the trailer for the film is full of gratuitous slow motion and underground boxing. And that’s soured my entire perception of the film.
Also I for some reason cannot imagine Holmes looking so dishevilled.
Well the slow motion thing happens only twice or so, and the underground boxing scene happens early and is over quick.
Yeah, the slow motion is present for three scenes I remember: Once in the very beginning when Holmes plans out how to kick the shit out of a sentry, once soon after where Holmes plans out how to kick the shit out of his boxing opponent, and once near the last 45 minutes when there’s a giant explosion-death trap.
Other than that it’s pretty much just Robert Downey Jr and Jude Law running around and being dry with each other. also the fight choreography is fantastic.
But what of the warts, MGK? Tell them of the warts!
@MGK: “– excellent performances and dialogue from principal cast –”
That’s mostly what I got out of it. The editing was bad enough to detract from the movie, in my book. It did come across as a bit TV-ish, but I think the reference to House is spot on @SmR. And that’s, more or less, the directing I’ve grown used to on mystery-style shows.
@Phil: “– I am never going to see it because the trailer for the film is full of gratuitous slow motion and underground boxing. And that’s soured my entire perception of the film. –”
You want a reload once you’re done shooting yourself in the foot?
Honestly, I really enjoyed how dirty everyone looked. Nothing says Victorian England like a heavy smearing of slim, sludge, and shit on just about everything without a noble title.
I was thrilled to see Kurrgan appear in the film. I met him once way back when, and he’s actually a genuinely nice, likable guy.
I’m glad to find out the film was faithful to canon, but as a stand-alone story, it bored me. But I did enjoy Hans Zimmer’s score.
I’ll be fair to Phil–the trailer to a movie is designed to make you want to watch it. If he saw the trailer and said, “Ooh, that doesn’t look like something I want to watch,” then that’s his decision and nobody is allowed to gainsay him that.
That said, Phil, you could probably cut together a trailer that’s entirely witty dialogue, Holmes being deductively brilliant and clever things happening. It’s just that they were too chicken to do it. 🙂
Guy Ritchie excels at showing the dirty underbelly of London even in times gone by. The look and feeling of the film drew me in, it was unapologetic in it’s grittiness and depravity. The banter was great with Holmes and Watson as well as how Holmes taunted the Police chief through out the film. I figured it would be Snatch in old England, but got much more than that. It wasn’t the Holmes we know, but it was a Holmes I wouldn’t mind getting to know more about.
I gotta say
I liked this movie a lot better than Avatar
Superior story and character, see.
Zenrage: no, it’s not a very good mystery.
Instead, it is a pretty decent adventure movie about Sherlock Holmes. I was disappointed by the lack of real “ah ha” mystery-solving moments in the story, but I enjoyed it in spite of this. Holmes is still shown to be a deductive genius, the characterization is fine, but the plot is a bit weak.
Dayv – I found the lack of good mystery-solving moments to be entirely true to the source, at least. I loved Holmes dearly before other loves eclipsed it, but I was always mildly irritated by the way Holmes kept most – if not all – relevant/interesting observations to himself until the Crucial Reveal.
That said, there would be nothing wrong with rising above Doyle, as the film did by showing more Watson-is-highly-intelligent than Watson-isn’t-as-brilliant-as-Holmes.
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