Review: Is Sherlock Holmes a Good Movie?

They've finally made a major motion picture about Sherlock Holmes, the legendary character from Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's novels, and it couldn't have came at a better time. Due to the 2007-2008 Writer's Strike in Hollywood, there's been a whole plethora of boring and unoriginal movies being released lately. Most of them are remakes of originals or poorly created sequels, so I was a little sceptical when I heard that they were making a movie about Sherlock Holmes, and didn't know what to expect. All my doubts were laid to rest after I saw this movie. I found it to be refreshingly original, while still paying homage to the original character and novels. It's a nice change in contrast to all the rubbish that Hollywood has been pumping out over the past few years.

Although I had my doubts about the movie itself, I was even more sceptical when I heard that Robert Downey Jr. would be playing the lead role. I'm a Robert Downey fan myself, as I've liked him in majority of the movies I've seen him in. But I seriously doubted his ability to be able to play Sherlock Holmes convincingly. Well once again, I was more than satisfied with his performance, and I will never again doubt his versatility when it comes to acting. If you loved Downey in Iron Man, then I'm confident you'll like his Holmes portrayal even better. He's believable as the serious detective, but often funny at times as well. He lended a very nice energetic vibe to the movie that probably wouldn't have been done as well if it was somebody else playing the part. Jude Law was pretty good as Dr. John Watson, though just like any good sidekick, he doesn't steal the show as much as Downey did. Rachel McAdams plays Irene Adler, Sherlock's love interest throughout the film. She was also pretty good, but to be honest, there wasn't anything very memorable about the character she played. It could have been anybody who played her role and I wouldn't have noticed a difference. I somewhat feel the same about Mark Strong, who plays Lord Blackwater, the movie's antagonist. In my opinion, this man closely resembles Robert Deniro in looks, but without that devious side that Deniro often displays in his acting. He wasn't horrible as blackwater, but he wasn't exceptional either. I feel the villain could have been much more dynamic and sadistic. But Downey easily carries the other actors and makes the movie worth watching. Watson's fiance, Mary Morstan, is played by English actress Kelly Reilly, and I thought she was an excellent addition to the movie. Her role as the fiance that Sherlock is apprehensive towards was great, because she does have this sort of mysterious or cunning look about her, that would make a man a little suspicious of her motives.

The setting is based in London, England, just like the novels. The film crew did an excellent job of recreating England during the late 1800's, it was almost surreal. There are many scenes on both the land and the water, and it appears that they paid close attention to detail in everything. There's one scene towards the end of the movie, where Sherlock is on a giant bridge, which was actually supposed to be the Tower Bridge in London during construction. I loved this particular detail about it, because it's one of the few movies where I've seen them throw a historical fact into the movie like that without bringing much attention to it. The clothing appears very genuine, and must have cost the makers of the film a small fortune to have made. The lingo appears to be on point as well, with much of the language being fairly accurate to the way it would be during those times.

If your drug is Action, than this movie will definitely satisfy your addiction. While it has a very involving storyline and plot, it is constantly filled with action scenes and explosions, just like every major motion picture should have if it wants to be good. It's probably suitable for teens, since it's rated PG-13, but any kids younger than 10 may need a parent to accompany them during this movie, as there are many scenes of people being killed, set on fire, or buried. There is definitely a gothic type of feel to this movie as well, since much of the plot revolves around black magic and witchery. So if you have kids and they are easily scared or influenced by things like this, you may want to rent a Disney movie instead. There is one or two scenes that involve portrayals of sacrifices, with the dark rooms and the candles and all the usual effects you would expect to find. Lord Blackwater is not exactly a nice guy, though I've seen worse Villains in movies with lower ratings.

All in all, I feel that Sherlock Holmes is an excellent movie for the family, or even for adults. I'm a single guy in my 20's and I enjoyed the movie immensely. I was surprised that it only received a 69% from critics on Rotten Tomatoes, but after reading the negative reviews, I realize why some critics may not enjoy this movie. The movie is very "Hollywood", meaning that it stays in a relatively safe zone, without getting too deep into making the viewer think about things. Many critics don't like these types of movies because they weren't very thought provoking or deep. There are also many people who wish the movie was a little more serious and less playful, as in, an R Rated version of Sherlock Holmes that we've never seen before. I would also like to see something like this, but I still feel that this movie is great for what it is and I wasn't disappointed. If you enjoyed movies like Iron Man and Spider-Man, then chances are, you'll love this movie. If you thought those movies were too light-hearted and "Hollywood", then you probably won't enjoy Sherlock Holmes and should maybe sit this one out.





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