By Chris ‘Clem’ Clement-Walker, Duty Manager/Projectionist
Rating: 4 stars (out of 5)
Sherlock Holmes is the latest in 2009/10’s current trend of re-boots. Balancing itself dangerously close to comparisons of some of the other great re-boots so far… Star Trek anyone? What was exciting about this flick was that some of the major players were outside of their comfort
zone: Guy Ritchie (Rock’n’Rolla, Snatch) directing on-behalf of some major film-companies as opposed to his own distribution company, Robert Downey Jr. (Iron Man, Tropic Thunder) turning in an English accent… throw in an explosion-a-second trailer and the anticipation of this film had become monumental.
The plot follows the bro-mantic duo of Sherlock Holmes and his sidekick and friend Dr. John Watson (Jude Law). As we’re introduced to the film, Dr Watson has finished his last case with Holmes and is planning to move out and settle down with his fiancée, ending all ties with the dangerous detective side of Sherlock Holmes.
However, when the last convicted culprit appears to have risen from the dead (Blackwood, played by a truly sinister Mark Strong) Sherlock Holmes finds himself in a supernatural hunt for the missing person and the cult he slowly uncovers behind it (Think Angels and Demons, but instead of a weedy Tom Hanks you’ve got badass Downey Jr). Of course, Watson finds it hard to dust of the old ways and struggles to tear himself away from the chase, which takes them all over old England meeting some very interesting characters and great action scenes.
The problem with detective films as an initial idea is that the protagonist detective is often found milling around after the events and action has happened which can be intellectually stimulating but often quite a boring watch. Ritchie’s re-incarnation has left none of that in this adventure. Holmes finds himself as involved with the plot as Blackwood and is often in the midst of numerous gunpowder explosions, horse-and-carriage chases and underground boxing fights. Throw in the clever and witty dialogue stumping nearly every other person involved and we have a great hero for our film. Also throw in a great sidekick and witty relationship between Holmes and Watson and we have possibly the best film partnership of the year… actually we definitely have the best film duo of the year!
Ritchie’s trademark fast cut action scenes and original cinematography make this a compelling watch throughout. Coupled with some amazing dialogue, this film is entertaining for all ages. It’s not an Oscar winning film by any means, but how many genuinely fun films are? And with the addition of the mysterious Moriarty (rumoured to be Mr. Pitt in his second Ritchie film) this film has franchise all over it… and I’ll be first in line for the sequel.
Standout performance: Downey Jr, all round hard-as-nails and great comedic delivery, is there anything he can’t do?