Film review: Sherlock Holmes (2009), directed by Guy Ritchie
Guy Ritchie’s Sherlock Holmes can perhaps best be described as a Victorian romp. Starring the ever fantabulous Robert Downey Jr. as the famous Baker Street detective, and Jude Law as his friend and colleague Dr. Watson.
I’m not overly familiar with the Holmes franchise (if you can call it that), so I’m not too bothered if it’s not quite canon. I don’t know if it is or isn’t, but I’ve a feeling it isn’t. I don’t remember the book I read in school, or the old TV series ITV always show re-runs of, to be quite this explosive, action-packed and full of strange Masonic-type ritualistic societies bent on taking over the world.
The plot centres around a Lord Blackwood (cue the Squeeze who found him familiar: “Oh I know who it is now! But with a wonky tooth!” “Who?” “That guy you like!” While I do like Mark Strong, especially as Mr. Knightley, he hasn’t suddenly become Richard Armitage!), who in the beginning gets sentenced to death, and hung … but somehow he seems to have come back from the grave, and he has wicked plans.
Meanwhile, Watson is trying to find an engagement ring and trying to not get into trouble with Holmes as he’s on his way to have tea with his future in-laws, and Holmes is bothered by an old flame (Rachel McAdams), who seems to be involved in the evil dealings somehow.
I was thinking I recognised one of the police officers, and it turns out it really was the guy I thought it was – William Houston, or, rather, “hey isn’t that Boucher from North & South?” I also recognised Hans Matheson, and the moment I saw him, I had my suspicions. He just has that devious sort of look – even though the role I most know him from (Yuri Zhivago), he was a good guy! Nice to know your head is into typecasting … If the film makers were? Well, Watch And Find Out!
The clothes – period clothing, yum! And of course, parts of it also had Robert Downey Jr out of costume, which is an opportunity not to be missed. Especially not when The Dubliners are playing in the background! Rocky Road to Dublin and all. (I heart that song.)
Locations – London in period clothing! Bits looked really nice, others looked a bit fake, where it looked like they had just taken a street and covered the asphalt in dirt and hey presto, The Past. The lightbulbs right at the beginning made me wonder if they really had lightbulbs on houses at that time? That they were building Tower Bridge was a nice touch.
Entertaining movie, on the whole. Robert Downey Jr tied up nekkid in bed with only a pillow to hide his bits, and the ensuing innuendo with the chambermaid was a good giggle. It’s a lighthearted film which felt a bit long at times, but all in all, a good way of spending an afternoon.