Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Sherlock Holmes 2009 Rewatch

Now that I am not such a Holmes novice, I decided a re-watch of the 2009 film was in order. I have to say, my perspective has changed considerably.
I do still think the sets were lovely, and the idea of a steampunk Sherlock Holmes still has a lot of potential. The film makers were clearly trying to make Holmes into an action hero. With his boxing, single stick fighting, and mixed martial arts mentioned in the original stories, he was a Victorian action hero.
However, sometimes deductions took a back seat to explosions in this movie. The more I get to know Holmes through my readings, the less Robert Downey jr. seems to fit the character. His physicality aside, he's a bit too sloppy and more annoying, less ingenious. Though Holmes did have anti-social tendencies and chaotic living habits, he was 'cat-like' in his personal grooming and could be very charming and suave.
Though they included Adler's photograph kept from the end of "A Scandal in Bohemia," and had this take place after that story when she returns to England as a divorcee, they over-played the relationship between Holmes and Adler. I'm not against her being considered a possible romantic interest, but she seems to be completely in love with him and refers to Holmes as her 'weakness.' During "Scandal," they only met once briefly.
I still do enjoy Jude Law as Watson, he brings a more capable side to the character, showing him to be the soldier, the man of action he was in the stories. Though, I do think they overplayed his gambling, I suppose that was their way of making it their own.
It's a fun and enjoyable movie, but it's not Holmes. To get to know the character, I'd recommend the Jeremy Brett series. He fits the image of Holmes to perfection.


  1. "It's a fun and enjoyable movie, but it's not Holmes." - Perfect and Concise way to summarize this movie. I might be wrong, but I do believe this is just an attempt by Hollywood to mint some money by exploiting the fame and reach of Sherlock Holmes and capitalizing on the current hot streak of Downey Jr.

    Brett was truly a great Holmes. Have you read the book "Bending the Willow: Jeremy Brett as Sherlock Holmes". The book is dedicated to the Granada series as well as Brett himself. Check out my review of the book here: http://buddy2blogger.blogspot.com/2012/03/review-bending-willow-jeremy-brett-as.html

  2. Glad you agree. I haven't read that book actually, but I love Brett and think he was definitely a definative Holmes, the whole series was really very well done..
    I'll have to check it out.