Wednesday, 12 January 2011

Sherlock Holmes - the movie: review


I wasn’t sure whether I would care for Guy Ritchie’s 2009 movie version of Sherlock Holmes, starring Robert J. Downey Jr and Jude Law as Holmes and Watson. And for sure, it’s a film that will have purists wincing, as many liberties are taken with facts and the Holmes canon. Anachronisms abound and the casting of Holmes seemed like a gamble.

And yet, I must say that I enjoyed the film. I do think that film and TV adaptations of crime stories deserve to be judged on their own merits, even if I loved the original on which they were based. The real failures are those, like the recent The Secret of Chimneys, where it’s impossible to see what the point of the new version was.

Here, for all its quirks, the story was exciting and the visual effects quite brilliant. The plot involved the villainous Lord Blackwood (Mark Strong was credibly nasty in the part) who seems to be able to use occult powers with a view to taking control of the British Empire and then the world as a whole. What a cad!

The cast did a good job, with a nice take on the Holmes-Watson relationship, even if Conan Doyle would have been amazed at the re-inventing of Mary Morstan and Irene Adler. But then, the great Basil Rathbone films which first turned me on to Sherlock when I was very young were also far removed from the originals. I liked them, and slightly to my surprise, I liked this movie too.

10 comments:

Summer Ross said...

I enjoyed the movie as well. It did have wonderful graphics and the actors did well for the parts they played. Good review.

Margot Kinberg said...

Martin - You've summed up brilliantly exactly the way I felt about the movie. And I'm a purist....

aguja said...

Great post - this I must see!

Melody Fox (aka the Princess of Rock) said...

hi there Edward...

*Sherlock Holmes* is still a movie that I have to see (a friend of mine gave me the dvd a couple of months ago, but, because of my travelling, haven't had time to see it yet). The reason? cause I love Robert Downey jr! (not so much Jude Law) I think he is a great Actor! and one thing I'd like to add about this actor is that, as a man, he has suffered a lot, has a great sense of humor, and is also talented as a singer...in my opinion, people who suffer--have suffered--are those who act even better than others.

take care,
Melody Fox (aka the Princess of Rock)
Love Peace Music

Melody Fox (aka the Princess of Rock) said...

p.s.: oops oops whoops--corrigenda...

Martin, sorry, I got mixed up with your last name and called you Edward, sorry again (;o)*

LPM

Martin Edwards said...

Margot, I'm delighted you share my view on this film.
Summer Ross, thanks!
Aguja, you will enjoy it, I'm sure.
Hi Melody, thanks and don't worry, I have been called worse!

Alistair Macfarlane said...

I'd have to see it again. I'm a big fan of Guy Ritchie but I thought it was a bit of mess first time around.
Just got the new Stuart McBride book. I love his stuff!
Certainly different than yours but being a Scot, the humour amongst all the carnage really works for me.
I know they are doing a sequel for 'Sherlock'.

pattinase (abbott) said...

I liked it too although it seemed a little too lively for me.

Martin Edwards said...

Alistair, do give it another go!
I've read one book by Stuart M and enjoyed it.

Karen Russell said...

I liked it, too, and I was also somewhat surprised -- but for the opposite reason: I don't care much for the original stories/movies. So I think this is a Sherlock many people can love!