Directed By: Guy Ritchie
Written By: Michael Robert Johnson and Anthony Peckham
Starring: Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law
Release Date: December 25th, 2009
Run Time: 2 Hours and 8 Minutes
Link to IMDb
Recently, I’ve been on a nostalgia kick. Maybe it’s because I just turned a year older the other day and I’m desperately trying to recreate the innocent, carefree spirit that I lost so many years ago. Or maybe I just enjoy appreciating old media, as they have a special charm that new art doesn’t have yet. Like a fine wine.
I’ll let you decide.
Before I started writing this review, I was only doing it because ‘Hey, I just watched a movie I remember from my youth! May as well review it, because I’m nostalgic and lazy!’ But then, as I checked the IMDb (link above, as always), I discovered something. The movie was a bit more nostalgic than I had thought. In that it came out nine-and-a-half years ago.
We’ll round it up for the sake of my sanity. Also because an even decade sounds more prestigious than nine-and-a-half years. And it’s easier to write. See the paragraph above: I’m lazy.
Plot: do… do you know who Sherlock Holmes is?
It’s a Sherlock movie. It’s a mystery movie. You basically already know how it’s going to go.
Shortly after Sherlock and Watson arrested the infamous Lord Blackwood, an alleged black sorcerer, the killer is hanged and the pair prepare to move on from their lives of detective work. But when the Lord mysteriously survives his hanging and starts killing again, the pair must return to work and catch him once again! But can Sherlock figure out Blackwood’s seemingly magical methods?
Oh, and Watson’s also having wedding troubles thanks to Sherlock. But in the grand scheme of things, that subplot isn’t particularly important. Or memorable.
Aside from that, it’s a very interesting, well paced and fun mystery movie. It’s got plenty of action to spruce things up every now and then, and they’re pretty cool! Watching Sherlock meticulously plan every detail of how he’s going to kick someone’s ass is equal parts hilarious and bad ass! Plus, it’s pretty well shot and thrilling! They give the story an extra bit of kick!
The mystery itself is also really well executed! Each detail seems disconnected, and each new clue seems to be a mystery in it of itself! But when the pieces finally come together at the end, it is incredibly satisfying! It has what every good mystery needs: a gratifying ‘Aha!’ moment.
All of the characters are… about what you’d expect. Sherlock is still the lovable and socially inept detective that we’ve loved for centuries. Watson is still the wound up doctor and the only one capable of dealing with Sherlock. Everyone else is fine, but kind of forgettable. Especially Blackwood, who is a decently effective and intimidating antagonist. But when you compare him to the legendary Moriarty, whom we wouldn’t get until the next movie, he’s simply… forgettable.
Just like how everyone forgot this movie existed after the BBC show came out. Hey-oh!
Visuals: Hope You Like The Color Gray
Yeah, the color scheme of this movie isn’t especially thrilling. But the cinematography is pretty creative!
The action scenes are very well shot, as I mentioned earlier. They aren’t stuffed with jump cuts, so they’re easy to watch and digest. Watching Sherlock lay a dude to waste after planning it out in slow-mo is incredibly satisfying, especially since the execution is always so quick and decisive.
Now, most of the visuals are just okay. The creative moments, such as Sherlock’s sensory overloads and his attempts to recreate the ritual, are very visually interesting. Every other moment is solid, but not incredible. It is a fine looking movie with some great moments.
Now if only the color pallet would expand.
Acting: Iron Man Makes For a Good Detective
In terms of acting, there are no complaints here. Every member of the cast brings their A game here. Even a decade later, they haven’t aged a bit.
Robert Downey Jr. in particular is a stand out. His British accent is absolutely flawless. He captures Sherlock’s awkward nature, as well as his genius behaviors. At no point did I say to myself ‘Oh, he’s just playing Iron Man.’ Which, considering how long he was playing that character, is impressive.
Although, I guess he had only played Tony Stark once or twice up to this point.
Everyone else is just as solid. At no point did anyone’s performance take me out of the movie. All in all, they did an incredible job.
This was an odd trip down memory lane. It’s been mostly forgotten to time, which I can understand. It isn’t a movie that people will be talking about for years to come. But I do feel that it is worth remembering. At least every once in a while.