Sunday, July 29, 2012

The Freak Reviews: Sherlock Holmes (2009 movie)

  Yes, at long last, I'm reviewing Sherlock Holmes, as promised. I love this movie, I really do. One of my favorites. I consider this to be my first Sherlock. Well, technically I saw a movie in-class in eighth grade, but I wasn't blown away. I don't even remember what it was called. All I remember is that it involved a woman and there were music boxes. That's it. Maybe someone with better Sherlock knowledge than I can help me out. So, the 2009 movie was the first Sherlock that got me into Sherlock Holmes.

  But enough babbling, let's get to the review!

  So, this movie is about Holmes and Watson trying to stop Lord Blackwood from essentially taking over England. Along the way, they get assistance from Irene Adler, Holmes tries to meddle with Watson's relationship with Mary Morstan, Professor Moriarty makes a few cameos, and we get forshadowing for the next movie.

  Alright, first of all, the leads. Jude Law is fantastic as Dr. Watson. He does brilliantly portraying him like the original from the stories. And Robert Downey Jr. does good as Holmes. While, yes, there are some flaws, he does great. And I love the dynamic between the two characters. You can almost tell they've known each other for a long time. Like you can tell Watson accepts Holmes the way he is, but at the same time he's not going to put up with everything. It's sort of like: "Yes, Holmes, I know you're brilliant. But I've stopped being in awe a long time ago. And quit killing Gladstone!" I think the movie summed it up nicely; that they're brothers, not in blood, but in bond.

  ...And I also enjoyed when Watson was trolling Holmes about Irene Adler. ("You're not her type, she prefers ginger dwarves!")

  Speaking of Adler, I prefer this Irene to the Irene Adler in Sherlock. She;s pretty awesome. TV Tropes did mention she's a tad "flanderized" (exaggerated) into this femme fatale thief, and I do admit, it's a little true, but I don't think that's too negative a portrayal. And at least she's not a dominatrix.

   But I will admit, re-watching the movie, I can see some flaws with her character. Like I'm not too pleased with the implication Irene's been married to multiple men. On one hand, yay, possible acknowledgement to the fact she got married (to man named Godfrey Norton, AKA not Sherlock Holmes) in "A Scandal in Bohemia". But on the other hand, I don't like her doing that. And, yes, I would love to see a recent adaptation that doesn't have Irene Adler ans Holmes's love interest. But, I do admit, I like the "Batman/Catwoman"-eske dynamic the two have here.

  ...And my thought when she ran out at started shooting Blackwood's goons as Holmes and Watson were planning was: "Alright, let's do this! LEEROY JENKINS! IRENE ADLER!"

  Lord Blackwood is a decent villain. I have to admit it. He's no Moriarty, but he is admittedly fairly brilliant. Fun fact: the introduction to my copy of The Complete Sherlock Holmes: Vol. II brings up the name of a rival magazine (to the one that published the original Holmes stories, no doubt) was called Blackwood's. Hmm... Cleverness on Ritchie and Co.'s part, or just a coincidence?

  Okay, as for Lestrade. I think he's alright. I don't really have much of an opinion on him, honestly. I admit, I prefer Rupert Graves's Lestrade. But, I do love how the movie's Lestrade (and some of the other cops) are still loyal to Holmes. Even if Holmes mocks Lestrade... a lot. Seriously, he's like Anderson to Cumberbatch's Sherlock. I can just picture it:

  Holmes : Don't move, don't speak, don't breathe, I'm trying to think. Lestrade, face the other way, you're putting me off.
 Lestrade: What, my face is?
  Anyway, re-watching the movie having read the stories has led to much squeeing from me, since now I understand the references. *insert obligatory Captain America joke here* Like I'm positive the statement Holmes would've made an excellent criminal, and the "Crime is common, logic is rare" are from the canon. And shooting V.R. into the wall. The watch deduction. And, of course, "worth the wounds."

  But, knowing the canon's causes me some problems, too. So, this Holmes had never met Mary before, and her parents are supposedly alive. So, does this mean The Sign of Four didn't happen? Then how did Mary and Watson meet here? Did Four happen (albeit differently) but Holmes just sent Watson to handle it (I mean, Watson does show a fair amount of deductive skill here), saying something like:
"Oh, this case seems uninteresting. You handle it. The case of Jabez Wilson, on the other hand... *chuckle* Red-Headed League..."
   But, if not, what other cases have/haven't happened? And, what's this "Irene outwitted Sherlock twice" business? She only showed up once in the original. When'd she beat him a second time? And how many times have Adler and Holmes crossed paths if she says the hotel has "their old room"? Andandand...

  I DEMAND AN EXPANDED UNIVERSE FOR THIS, RITCHIE! Ugh. Knowing and caring about the canon is making my head hurt. Make it stop...

  Anyway, Hans Zimmer's music in this movie is awesome. It complements this movie beautifully. And this, kiddies, is why Zimmer's one of my favorite movie composers. Here's one of my favorites: "Panic, Sheer Bloody Panic".

  And I love the "Holmes-O-Vision". It's always cool to see inside Holmes's head. And I have to give this adaption credit for weaponizing Holmes's deductive skills long before BBC's Sherlock did in "A Scandal in Belgravia".

  Alright, some last minute thoughts:

  -My favorite scenes are: The Boxing Match (I love the song "The Rocky Road to Dublin"), The Dinner Scene (since it showcased Holmes's skills brilliantly, and the scene with the gypsy fortuneteller always cracks me up. ("What of the warts?... Are they EXTENSIVE!?")

  -Lord Coward has the worst name ever. No wonder he sided with Blackwood...

  -I kind of got a little overjoyed when Irene said olives were Holmes's favorite. Because they're my favorite, too, and the more I have in common with various Sherlocks, the more geeky joy I get.

 -The last time I watched this, I noticed this bit of dialogue... (paraphrased)
Watson: I'd only go to the country with my wife!
Holmes: Well, if we must...
   Oh, Downeylock...

 -"Suicide's not in his repertoire". FORESHADOWING!

 -Everyone wears fantastic hats in these movies. I want them all. Just sayin'...

  And finally...

  ...The joke had to be made. I regret nothing...

  Well, that's my review. Next time: a proper review of Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows! Play me out, The Dubliners!



  1. Great Review!

    I too enjoyed this movie. Agree with all of your points about Irene Adler, Zimmer's music and the excellent chemistry between the lead actors.

    I have nominated you for the Liebster Award .


    1. Thank you so much ! For the comment AND the nomination! :)