Tuesday, December 22, 2009

It's Elementary, Sherlock Will Be Downey's Next Franchise Machine

Director Guy Ritchie has a style all his own, it has worked for him in several of his films. It is a style that many others have tried but have not been as fortunate with it. This filming style is like stop motion, it is done in almost all of his action or fight scenes. We get a slow look at what is about to happen, and we also get an informative narration telling us, then we see this same action in what looks like fast motion. Ritchie utilizes this format several times in his newest action comedy, "Sherlock Holmes"

The first thing that you will notice about this Sherlock Holmes is that the mood of the era seems to be recreated perfectly, the next is how perfect the balance between comedy, drama, and mystery seem to meld together. When the mysterious Lord Blackwood (Mark Strong) is finally apprehended by Sherlock Holmes (Robert Downey Jr.) and his partner Dr. John Watson (Jude Law) merry old England thinks that the latest murder spree is over and can breath easier. This illusion is short lived, and when the body of Lord Blackwood appears to have magically been rejuvenated, Inspector Lestrade (Eddie Marsan) once again calls upon the great mind of Sherlock Holmes.

Holmes is confronted by an old nemesis in Irene Adler (Rachel McAdams). Adler has been a bane in his side for so long, that Holmes can't imagine what life would be like if she was caught. Holmes deals with her because he knows that deep down he wouldn't be happy without her nearby. When Holmes is hired by Adler, to find a missing person he at first acts as if he isn't interested. Everyone knows that Holmes and Adler will be hip deep in the London underground muck before the movie is over. It is enjoyable watching the two try to outfox the other.

Downey Jr. has shown he has the flair to create a character, he has made a name for himself with his other franchise character, Tony Stark in the Iron Man movies. With the addition of Jude Law, Guy Ritchie is sure to have a hit on his hands. The running time of Sherlock Holmes is just over two hours and at times the movie does lag, but this is a minor snag and doesn't take anything away from the story. The back and forth between Holmes and Watson is very funny, but when ever Holmes needs help, Watson is always there. The story arc about Black magic and the take over of British Parliament is kinda far fetched and at times seems stretched beyond comprehension. The game is afoot, when the man that Adler needs found is indeed found in the coffin that is supposed to hold Lord Blackwood. When body after body starts to turn up Holmes is sure that Lord Blackburn has inside help. The source of this help is closer to home than one would believe.

The ease that Holmes solves the case will baffle some viewers, his wit is world renowned, but this is so Hollywood cliche like it must be a cliche. Everything is wrapped up neat and tidy, Holmes spots little clues throughout the film that leads him to solve a big mystery. The fact that the movie shamelessly leads itself to a sequel is not that big a deal anymore. Most Hollywood movies try to leave an ending that can easily be explained away in a sequel. This movie may go a long way to help resurrect a career that was at one time about as low as it could go, now that same man commands millions of dollars and can pick and choose his roles, like A DeNiro once did. There are few stars of this caliber left in Hollywood.

I give Sherlock Holmes a 3 and on my avoidance scale a 0, this is a perfect movie to send the family off to see early Christmas morning while the food is being prepared. Get the teens out of the house, it's this or the chipmunks mom and dad, and sending your teen kids to see one of the free worlds most read detective will be the wiser choice. Of course Rachel McAdams lights up the screen when ever she is on it and that's a huge help. A leading lady that bogs down almost every scene she is in, is death to any movie.

Sherlock Holmes is rated PG-13 for Thematic material Including Violence, Disturbing Images and A Scene Of Suggestive Material
Running time is 2 hrs. 09 mins.

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