Tuesday, December 29, 2009

A Frank Review of "Sherlock Holmes" (2009)

The Short Version? Less detective, more dick (flick.)
What Is It? Actioner.
Who Is In It? Iron Man, Gigolo Joe, that Notebook chick
Should I See It? No.

Someone took a Roger Moore era James Bond script, and converted it into a Victorian version of The Wild Wild West. At times it's as good as an episode of the Robert Culp TV series, but it's mostly as much a muddle as the Will Smith cinematic flop from 1999. Robert Downey Jr. is surprisingly charmless here, going through his stock eccentric mannerisms without their having any desirable effect. Jude Law fares much better as possibly the most interesting Doctor Watson I've seen, if only because he serves a greater purpose than stroking Holmes' ego at each brilliant observation. Instead, he's a tough, but proper, partner in crime investigation. Mark Strong has the face of a great villain, but not an ounce of actual menace in his performance.

Forty-four years of Downey Jr. on this Earth and at least a quarter of that spent on hard drugs have left their mark on his features, while thirty-one year old Rachel McAdams looks like she takes her nightly bath in warm milk. She's meant to be Holmes' equal or better as a conniving grifter femme fatale with whom he has a history that would seem to date back to her junior high prom. Maybe I'm just getting old, but their age differences really made me think less of our hero, and considering what a smarmy, neurotic, prancing little shit he is, imagine my horror. Worse, McAdams sounds like she's still playing opposite Lindsay Lohan in a bubblegum flick, she's so woefully out of place.

Since Richard Keel is no longer among the living to reprise his role of Jaws, a replacement was found in Robert Maillet. With roles on his resume including "Uber Immortal," "Behemoth Jones" and "Kurrgan," he brings the physical bigness. It's probably the next best performance after Law's.

As for the story, well, its a trifle. There's a grand, moronic conspiracy involving Freemasons, dark magic, CSI: London, Steampunk Tasers, and explodey-go-boom-boom. Director Guy Ritchie, whose mind never recovered from his penis entering Madonna, offers tepid slo-mo bare knuckles brawling put to shame by his own Snatch, and noticeably little else. If you like your pictures to be there, doing that, and not be a bother about it, Sherlock Holmes is for you.


wiec? said...

oh great. guess what i ahve to see tonight?

as tradition goes me and the little lady see a movie on ENw Years day. its her turn to pick.

sounds like i'm doomed. swell.

Diabolu Frank said...

No harm. The movie is just thoroughly, inoffensively mediocre.


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