Saturday, January 9, 2010

Review: Sherlock Holmes

I saw Sherlock Holmes last night with my son.

Title design
Set dressing
Irene Adler

That same washed out color palette you've seen in other recent films.

For those who enjoyed Robert Downey Jr. in Ironman, Sherlock Holmes (the film) has a bit of steampunk Tony Stark to the character Sherlock Holmes. Jude Law plays Dr Watson very well in my view. Rachel McAdams plays Irene Adler, the moral, comic, romantic, and intellectual foil (and equal) to Downey's Holmes.

One of the joys of detective fiction for a reader is to see if they can solve the mystery before the main character. This is difficult in film detective stories, but this film does honor the trope by at least letting you see the clues, even if they whiz by too fast to process until the requisite flashback at the end.

Holmes and Watson as the bickering odd couple got old fast, though it was better than the fawning hero worship versions of Watson in other films.

The least likable parts of the film are the fight scenes. Holmes does have a reputation 'in canon' as a boxer and martial artist, so I am not objecting that they are out of character. Rather, they are filmed in gratuitous slo-mo intercut with sped up footage on some very cluttered sets. The result is some very muddy views of the action - who is hitting whom how.

Recommended - a well made 'reboot' (though not 'origins') genre film. Strong detective, minor steampunk notes, and no bitter aftertaste.

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