[Moving picture of popcorn]

Laramie Movie Scope:
Sherlock Holmes (2009)

Sherlock Holmes, superhero

[Strip of film rule]
by Robert Roten, Film Critic
[Strip of film rule]

December 28, 2009 -- Director Guy Ritchie, whose specialty is fast paced films about wise guys in the London organized crime scene takes on the legendary detective in this adaptation of the Arthur Conan Doyle character and turns him into a slightly crazed superhero in an action movie. Robert Downey Jr. turns in a good performance as another offbeat, slightly dissipated character who is a kind of genius, not unlike his Tony Stark portrayal in “Iron Man.”

The role of Dr. Watson is played by Jude Law of “Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow”). Dr. Watson has been played a number of different ways in different films. In this film, Watson is fast, clever and handy with a gun, a sword or his fists. He is Sherlock Holmes' best friend, perhaps his only friend. He is by far, the most normal of the two. In this story, Watson is about to get married and move out on his own, away from Holmes, who is an anti-social pest, a bit like an autistic detective savant. While Holmes is lacking in social skills, he is amazing in his powers of observation coupled with an amazing ability to make deductions based on scant evidence.

Holmes is growing restless. It has been months since his last case, in which he arrests the notorious criminal Lord Blackwood (Mark Strong of “RocknRolla”). Just before Blackwood's execution, Holmes is summoned to visit Blackwood, who says he will rise from the dead to kill again. Blackwood is executed and Watson pronounces Blackwood to be dead. True to his word, Blackwood rises from his tomb to kill again, leaving Holmes and Watson to solve the mystery of how he rose from the dead and what evil plans he may have for the future.

Blackwood leads Holmes and Watson on a merry chase pursuing a variety of clues. Along the way, Holmes meets an old nemesis, Irene Adler (Rachel McAdams of “The Time Traveler's Wife”), the only person ever to outwit him. Adler is working for a mysterious man whose identity is not revealed until the end of the film. She still has a soft spot for Holmes, but doesn't mind causing him a lot of grief. Along the way there are plenty of fist fights, sword fights, gunplay and explosions. Much of what happens is tongue in cheek. There are plenty of humorous scenes in the film. It isn't a great film, the story is a bit of a mess, but it definitely has some entertainment value. It rates a C+.

Click here for links to places to buy or rent this movie in digital formats, or to buy the soundtrack, posters, books, even used videos, games, electronics and lots of other stuff. I suggest you shop at least two of these places before buying anything. Prices seem to vary continuously. For more information on this film, click on this link to The Internet Movie Database. Type in the name of the movie in the search box and press enter. You will be able to find background information on the film, the actors, and links to much more information.

[Strip of film rule]
Copyright © 2009 Robert Roten. All rights reserved.
Reproduced with the permission of the copyright holder.
[Strip of film rule]
Back to the Laramie Movie Scope index.
[Rule made of Seventh Seal sillouettes]

Robert Roten can be reached via e-mail at my last name at lariat dot org. [Mailer button: image of letter and envelope]

(If you e-mail me with a question about this or any other movie or review, please mention the name of the movie you are asking the question about, otherwise I may have no way of knowing which film you are referring to)