Sherlock Holmes

During my Christmas vacation in Williamsburg Mrs. Crimespree and I went to a great theater called the Movie Tavern. Big office charirs at counters and they bring you good food at a nice price right to you during the movie. And they serve good beer and wine too.
We saw Sherlock Holmes.

I like the movie. I feel it treated the character with respect. The respect came from the screen writers who actually seem to have read some of the Conan Doyle works, Guy Ritchie who seemed to have done the same and Robert Downy Jr also really seemed tuned in to Holmes is. Jude Law was also fabulous as Watson.

One of the factors in my love of this film is the fact that they portray Holmes as a genius. A genius who is so much smarter than most other people that it makes him a bit crazy. He thinks on a whole other level, multiple things going on in his head at any given time. And like a lot of people thinking at that level, his social skills suffer. And this is where Watson really plays in, smart in his own right, he understands Holmes and as a result can help keep him motivated and focused. And Watson is not comic relief here, he actually contributes to the cases they work.

The film also remembers that Holmes can fight, and is capable of action. There are some great scenes of Holmes boxing and fighting, done in a way that shows how it makes perfect sense for Holmes to be this type of fighter.

Ok, so obviously I think they nailed the characters.
The plot itself is a nice puzzle with conspiracies and twists and turns worthy of a Holmes story, and while maybe a bit simpler than most mystery readers and Doyle readers would like, it works and is executed well. The film pens with a well to do political figure getting busted while performing a ritual involving black magic. After his execution he appears to come back from the dead committing a number of murders in order to eventually control England and then the world. I’m not saying more, you should see it for yourself!

My only complaint, on that I feel most modern film makers are guilty of, is that they seem to forget they are using color. You can portray darkness and bleakness and still use some color. Even in the 1800’s in London, there were sunny days and people wore clothes beyond just greays and blacks and browns.

That little quibble aside I loved the film. I think it proves Ritchie is capable of more than just cool modern crime tales. He has great skills and great instincts and uses them here well. Downy is a great actor when he is focused, and he’s damn focused here. Jude Law is always great and he’s wonderful here.