A Triumphant Remake, 26 December 2009
Author: gary-444 from United Kingdom
Guy Ritchie finally comes of age as a Director with this compelling re envisaging of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes. Ritchie’s love of London, and his status as a Londoner, permeate every aspect of this tale as he cleverly uses familiar settings to represent familiar characters in a modern, yet faithful way. Robert Downey Jnr plays Holmes as an eccentric, other worldly eccentric. Jude Law plays Dr Watson as the straight “foil” in a pairing that exudes chemistry and the obvious enjoyment of both men in their respective roles.
Past Ritchie movies, in particular “Lock, Stock…” and “Snatch” have offered some wonderful set pieces, but a disjointed narrative. With the benefit of Holmes and Watson having an understood back story, and a well written and clearly defined plot, the surprise here is that this frees Ritchie up to deliver some excellent scenes in context. A fight in a shipyard’s slipway is the pick of the bunch, closely followed by peril in an abattoir with shades of James Bond, a marvellously recreated bare knuckle fight reprises the grit that is his trademark, and the showdown on Tower Bridge is a glorious piece of kitsch.
Many of the backdrops are computer generated , but this in no way detracts from the credibility of proceedings. Beautifully, and authentically costumed, but often shot in the dark, a slightly surreal sense of fantasy is created which serves the purposes of the plot perfectly. A witty, quick-fire script has verbal and visual gags aplenty which help to keep up a relentless pace in between action sequences. The editing never allows a pause for breath and the two hour running time flies by.
Although the plot itself is neatly topped and tailed as villain Lord Blackwood, gleefully played by Mark Strong, is vanquished, an accomplice vanishes, leaving the door open for the sequel which will surely follow . That this will certainly be Ritchie’s most successful film to date, yet contains no bad language or graphic violence, will cause many to reappraise his talents and may encourage Ritchie himself to explore further hitherto untapped areas in which he shows both promise and talent.