Friday, December 25, 2009

Lazy Movie Review: Sherlock Holmes

This is the first time I’ve gone to a movie on Christmas Day. It’s odd driving through town, everything is deserted, except for IHOP (which is packed) and Walgreens. I get to the theater and it’s the longest line I’ve ever seen there. Christmas is apparently a busy movie day. Also due to the line the trailers are nearly done – I hate that.

Anyway, movie starts with the apprehension of the murder… Blacksomething, can’t remember his name, let’s just call him ‘Big Bad’. Holmes and Watson take down Big Bad and several of his goons about a minute before Lestrade and Scotland Yard show up.

Flash forward 3 months, Big Bad is set to hang in a few days for his previous murders. Watson is also in the midst of packing up to move out of 221b Baker St, seems he’s found a girl and Holmes is not taking it well. Holmes has locked himself in his room, utterly bored to death unless he’s in the middle of a case. All the prospective clients bore him. In walks old flame… let’s call her Feisty Damsel. Feisty Damsel is a thief, but smart and pretty so Holmes is smitten. She leaves a bag of money and a missing person case with Holmes before scampering off.

Anyway, Big Bad hangs, Watson (as the attending physician pronounces him dead. The next day Big Bad rises from the dead and renews his reign of terror, Feisty Damsel’s missing person is found in the grave – The Game’s Afoot.

Overall I liked the movie though it does fall short of greatness. Holmes is a bit more physical than I picture him being. Granted I’ve never read the books, you might say I’m a fan of the idea of Sherlock Holmes rather than Holmes himself, Holmes may very well be in the books a kung-fu master. In the movie, Holmes is a boxer who, if he doesn’t have exotic martial arts training, is at least brilliant enough to think 5 punches ahead (something shown in slow-mo as Holmes narrates his plan of attack) the actual fights use that quick-cut technique Hollywood’s been in love with for the last decade and everyone else hates.

Watson is a bit of a surprise. As stated earlier I’ve never read the books, right or wrong, my pop culture supplied image of Watson is a bit of a pudgy, clumsy doctor who acts as Holmes assistant. Jude Law is a lean, mean, partner of Holmes who can fight and hold his own in terms of deductive reasoning. Also, may be a first where the sidekick get the girl.

Film had a supernatural element that was a bit of a surprise, I don’t recall anything about it in the trailer. Still, it’s more CSI than X-Files. Holmes end with a nice, logical summation at the end so the idiots in the audience can be brought up to speed.

I was also pleasantly surprised and impressed that a certain professor was not the main villain. Professor Moriarty does make a cloaked appearance and the Big Bad, in the end, winds up being Big Diversion. The Game’s afoot… in the sequel.

3 1/2 out of 5

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