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Vulcan Stev Family Movie Review: Sherlock Holmes

Sherlock Holmes

Warner Bros. – 128 mins – PG-13

 Robert Downey Jr. …  Sherlock Holmes
 Jude Law …  Dr. John Watson
 Rachel McAdams …  Irene Adler
 Mark Strong …  Lord Blackwood
 Eddie Marsan …  Inspector Lestrade
 Robert Maillet …  Dredger
 Geraldine James …  Mrs. Hudson
 Kelly Reilly …  Mary Morstan
 William Houston …  Constable Clark
 Hans Matheson …  Lord Coward
 James Fox …  Sir Thomas
 William Hope …  Ambassador Standish
 Clive Russell …  Captain Tanner
 Oran Gurel …  Reordan
 David Garrick …  McMurdo

Synopsis from IMDb:  After finally catching serial killer and occult “sorcerer” Lord Blackwood, legendary sleuth Sherlock Holmes and his assistant Dr. Watson can close yet another successful case. But when Blackwood mysteriously returns from the grave and resumes his killing spree, Holmes must take up the hunt once again. Contending with his partner’s new fiancée and the dimwitted head of Scotland Yard, the dauntless detective must unravel the clues that will lead him into a twisted web of murder, deceit, and black magic – and the deadly embrace of temptress Irene Adler.

VS: 1.9 pointed ears
I am not a Sherlock Holmes fan.  I ‘ve read maybe one of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s novels.  I am familiar enough with the character that I know the basics.  From what I remember of the Holmes canon, this movie is a faithful interpretation of the character right down to Holmes’ use of cocaine (inferred in a scene but not mentioned on screen and my reason for a point 1 reduction).  That said I was sufficiently intrigued by the trailers to put this movie on my “See it if it comes to Grundy” list (Grundy being our local dollar theater).  I was not disappointed.  I enjoyed this film from start to finish.  The violence is not gratuitous and is used to depict Holmes’ analytical mind in more than one scene.  19th century London looked appropriately gritty and smog infested.  Given the state of special effects that shouldn’t surprise me but it did look nice.  I was also pleasantly surprised to find that Mrs VS enjoyed the movie (but I’ll let her tell why in her section).

Robert Downey Jr. played Holmes to the nines.  Never did I see a hint of Tony Stark, too often when I go to see a film I can be distracted by seeing too much of an actor’s previous performance.  Downey gave life to a character who could well be an ancestor of Tony Stark without calling on the previous character. 

I also failed to see the supposed “gay subtext” in this movie.  I suspect that blog rumors and pronouncements of the former  are from people who are over analyzing everything.   This movie goes in the DVD collection when it is released.

Mrs. VS: 1.5 pointed ears
This was a fairly decent movie.  The scenery was appropriate to the era being depicted.  It is not a good-looking movie, but then 19th century London was not a beautiful place.  I happen to like murder mysteries (ed note I didn’t know that) and this movie was rousing good mystery.  The man bursting into flames was a little gratuitous but understandable given the aspirations of the villain.

Pvt. B.
rating coming

PIT #2: 2 pointed ears
This movie is the best movie of 2010 (OK it’s only February but it’s STILL a good movie).  This movie took everything that I knew about Sherlock Holmes and put it up on the screen.   You can be a complete Sherlock noob and still enjoy this movie.

PIT #3: 2 pointed ears
This movie rocked.  I didn’t see a single kissing scene.  Although there were no car chases, I understand that is because the automobile had not been invented in Holmes’ time (though we did get to see a large ship sink).

Overall 7.4 out of 8 ears

Families be warned the PG-13 rating is earned for depictions of (legal) drug use, depictions of cultic rituals and minor language.

Definitely a must-see if you get the chance.

February 17, 2010 - Posted by | Movie Reviews, Movies | , , , , , ,


  1. Thanks for this beautiful article. I liked the movie but i can say i am disappointed with Downey Jr.s performance. Actually he is not the right person for Holmes character. For me, Ralph Fiennes would be perfect for Holmes.
    But i really liked Jude Law’s performance. He once again showed us how big actor he is…
    Thanks again..

    Comment by Luke Ironwhite | February 17, 2010

  2. I disagree with your deduction of a point for not depicting Holmes’ cocaine use. This isn’t a fault of the script but rather of our current culture and in this case, the producers were damned if they did (for depicting a cool character who’s going to appeal to teens as a drug user) and damned if they didn’t (for not following cannon perfectly). they could not win.

    In this case, given just how much it would appeal to teens, I support their decision to leave it out.

    Where I would deduct points, and more than one, is the lack of “rewatchability”. Having seen the movie twice, I don’t recommend anyone else do so. Much of it’s appeal is in it’s novelty and when you know all the tricks and twists, it’s far more boring the 2nd time around.

    And it could use a kissing scene or two 🙂

    Comment by Viriatha | February 18, 2010

  3. @Luke – While I agree that RD Jr. is not the right physical type for Holmes. In my opinion he captured the quintessence of the stereotyped Holmes while making the character his own.

    @Viri – actually, I might have been unclear. I was deducting a .1 for the veiled reference. When it could have been left out entirely.

    I’ve only seen it once (to date) and look forward to watching it again. So as of right now I cannot comment on the lack of rewatchability… (though that does give me an idea for an article)

    Please remember that PIT #3 is 10. I’m thankful he’s NOT demanding kissing scenes

    Comment by Vulcan Stev | February 18, 2010

  4. Having been a life-long Sherlock Holmes fan, I have quite an emotional attachment to Sherlock as a character. My first reaction when I saw the poster of the latest SH movie was their casting someone tall and reasonably decent-looking to play Dr Watson, quite unlike the otherwise tradition. (It took me a little longer to recognize Jude Law under that mustache.) It prompted me to feel this SH screen adaptation can be quite different from those from the past.

    Nevertheless, I did have an initial aversion to the shorter, rather petite, unkempt and badass Holmes, who is even more unlike the traditionally tall, neat, not necessarily handsome but usually distinct-looking Holmes with a hooked nose and eagle eyes. Not knowing much about Robert Downey Jr, I also had quite a resistance to having an American actor playing Sherlock. However, after watching trailers, interviews, and the movie itself, I was won over by his unique interpretation of Sherlock that not only embodies the characterisation of Doyle’s creation, but enlivens it. I’m no longer attached to a fixed idea of how Sherlock should look like based on a fabricated screen tradition. I ended up watching the movie more than 10 times, thoroughly enjoying each viewing and looking forward to watching the bonus features when the DVD is released.

    You made a good point about there being no trace of Tony Stark in RDJ’s portrayal of Sherlock.I have watched Iron Man recently after watching SH. It’s actually quite disorienting sometimes when I watched a Sherlock Holmes interview with RDJ during his filming Iron Man 2. He looked totally Tony Stark but he was introducing Sherlock. He has created and owned two strikingly different and complex characters that are truly a delight to watch.

    Comment by Sherlockfan | February 22, 2010

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    Comment by 7Tavern | March 16, 2010

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