Cour, Petit Lapin, Cour.
I’ve felt that my reviews have had a large gap in them for some time. Not necessarily that today’s movie is such a classic or amazing movie that it was a shame I hadn’t reviewed it though. It’s just that I’m a completionist. I can’t have reviewed one film in a series without reviewing all of them. Some people may refer to that as being OCD. To that I say, “Shut up.” I reviewed the sequel to today’s movie because I saw it in theaters, and never reviewed this movie because – though I was sure I purchased it at some point – I was never able to find it. Eventually I repurchased it on BluRay, because I was obsessively compelled to have it since I also had the second movie. Again, shut up. After it sat around on my computer for a while, I eventually got around to reviewing Sherlock Holmes, based on characters created by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, written by Paul Bales, Anthony Peckham, Simon Kinberg, Michael Robert Johnson, co-written and directed by Guy Ritchie, and starring Robert Downey Jr., Jude Law, Mark Strong, Rachel McAdams, Kelly Reilly, Eddie Marsan, Hans Matheson, and Geraldine James.
Detective Sherlock Holmes (Robert Downey Jr.) and his partner Dr. John Watson (Jude Law) prevent Lord Blackwood (Mark Strong) from ritually killing a young woman, as he has killed five women before. Three months later, Watson is preparing to move out of the flat he shares with Holmes to marry his fiancée Mary Morstan (Kelly Reilly). Holmes is not taking it well. The two are asked to attend the hanging of Blackwood; Watson to pronounce him dead, and Holmes because it was Blackwood’s last request. Blackwood tells Holmes that his death is only the beginning, and that three more deaths will happen after he rises from his grave. Holmes scoffs at it and Blackwood is hanged. Three days later, Blackwood seemingly rises from the grave. Holmes resumes his search, and he even convinces Watson to join him so that his reputation wouldn’t be damaged. After all, who would want to marry a doctor who can’t even tell if a man is dead or not? To get them started, professional thief and former adversary of Holmes Irene Adler (Rachel McAdams) sends them to find a ginger midget who was working with Blackwood.
If you connect the dots of me having purchased this movie twice, it will probably come as no surprise that I enjoy this movie. I found the movie to be pretty well-written with well-developed characters. I’m not sure how much of any of this credit goes to the writers of this movie or to Arthur Conan Doyle though. I know he developed the characters originally, but I don’t know how much of the stuff in this movie is from his stories because his stories were written and Homie don’t play that. But it doesn’t really matter. There are already 20 writers on this movie, so credit is already getting spread pretty thin. My favorite thing about the movie is how well they keep the question alive about Blackwood’s magical powers. When I first saw this movie, I was asking myself, “Is Blackwood immortal? Are his methods supernatural? Or cheap parlor tricks to conceal his true identity?” Being almost completely ignorant about Sherlock Holmes (meaning that I had never read any of them, but I knew the name and that he was a detective) I couldn’t be quite sure if it would be out of the question for someone to actually have magical powers in them. Do they do that? How am I supposed to know? Why am I asking you when you can’t respond? I also don’t know if most of the stuff they use to conceal the things he does as magic actually hold up to real world logic, but I don’t care. It’s enjoyable.
The look of the movie is also very nice, albeit a bit dark. Dark is what they were going for, so it’s okay. It also looks exactly like England looks in my brain. England either looks like a foggier version of this movie or like Harry Potter in my brain, and I refuse to go there so that it can be that way forever. Also, I heard a lot of talk about this movie about the fights. And not so much the fights, but the visualization that Holmes does before he actually fights. It’s very polarizing, from what I’ve gathered. I’ve heard people hate it and I’ve heard people love it. I’m in the middle. I really appreciate the fights because they’re well-choreographed, but I definitely understand that I don’t really need to see the same exact fight twice in a row. It didn’t bother me either way though.
The performances were all great in this movie because they got exclusively great people. Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law work great together. They have great chemistry and Jude Law plays an excellent straight man to Downey’s crazy and generally funny Holmes. I had a problem with Watson’s wife, Kelly Reilly, though. Not the actress or her performance, but the character infuriated me when she threw wine in Holmes’ face for deducing her backstory correctly. First, he was right and wasn’t saying anything that wasn’t true. Second, you asked him to do it. Third, you actually INSISTED that he do it. Perhaps this was done to illustrate the exact moment in time when the phrase “Be careful what you wish for” was created. I don’t know of anyone who could take issue with Rachel McAdams though. I really liked her character in this movie, playing a very intelligent and crafty woman who had once outsmarted Holmes, and also playing it very selfish but with definite signs that she cares about Holmes. I may have liked her character much more because of her extreme hotness as well. But it was more than likely both. But for examples of over the top beauty, you need look no further than the English bulldog in this movie. That was a gorgeous sumbitch.
I feel a sense of satisfaction based on nothing now that I have finally finished reviewing both Sherlock Holmes movies. I like both Sherlock Holmes movies. The writing is well done and the mysteries keep your brain occupied while still allowing it to let the mysteries play themselves out as you just enjoy the funniness of the interactions between Holmes and Watson. The performances and the look are also well done, and the fights are interesting and exciting, though I can definitely understand some people being irritated by with the parts where they are telegraphed before they actually happen. Either way, I really dig this movie and recommend both Sherlock Holmes movies for a purchase. Sherlock Holmes gets “Begging your pardon, my lord, but I’ve been wanting to do that for a long time” out of “In another life, Mr. Holmes, you would have made an excellent criminal.”
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