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Sherlock Holmes: A Capsule Review

March 20, 2010

Sherlock Holmes

Robert Downey Jr. plays the 19th century's most arrogant action hero, in Sherlock Holmes.

Guy Ritchie’s Sherlock Holmes reboot is more entertaining than it has any right to be, thanks largely to Robert Downey Jr., whose talent for making arrogance endearing is a perfect fit for British lit’s most legendary snot. In this irreverent take on Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s beloved creation, Holmes isn’t simply Victorian England’s greatest detective—he’s also an action hero, with killer abs. Theoretically, Holmes and his long-suffering sidekick Dr. Watson (Jude Law) are investigating a mystery involving a murderous Lord (Mark Strong, coming off as a cross between Chris Merloni on Oz and Andy Garcia in Ocean’s Thirteen) who continues to wreak havoc from beyond the grave. But screenwriters Michael Robert Johnson, Anthony Peckham and Simon Kinberg don’t even pretend to make the villain’s machinations comprehensible. Holmes’ racionation is so convoluted that you’ll quickly give up trying to follow his logic. Better to chuckle, sit back and enjoy the ride. Ritchie brings his trademark kinetic style to the action scenes, while a spectacular combo of CGI and set design give us the best 19th century London money can recreate. Rachel McAdams and Kelly Reilly play Holmes’ and Watson’s love interests, but the real love affair here is between the co-dependent male heroes. Or perhaps between Downey and himself.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Adam permalink
    March 20, 2010 1:46 am

    Amy McAdams, eh? If she’s a cross between Rachel McAdams and Amy Adams, I’m in.

    Sherlock Holmes kind of left me cold, I didn’t like it or hate it, I just couldn’t get into it.

  2. March 20, 2010 4:49 am

    Oops. Actress reference corrected.

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