Movie Review: Sherlock Holmes (2009)

Robert Downey, Jr. is the eponymous Sherlock Holmes in this Guy Ritchie-helmed update of the Sir Arthur Conan Doyle classic. The film fits the 21st century mold of film franchise revivals, but is it really worth the look?

Set in Victorian-era London, Sherlock Holmes and his trusted partner Dr. John Watson get the modern action film treatment-- there's the slow-mo/bullet time sequences, big explosions, and impressive CG. The case they tackle in the film is pretty elaborate and several reveals in the end, but for me the movie is pretty uneven. The story unfolds in a very imbalanced manner (great start, then becomes slow like molasses, then a frenetic finish), although Guy Ritchie's keen eye for detail and action is on display.

The interplay between Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson is full of quips, but feels far from the 19th century. (I didn't know the hero-sidekick banter was inventer at that time) Downey's version of Sherlock draws from his other smart characterizations (Tony Stark from Iron Man comes to mind) but the material does him an injustice. If you ask me, The Prestige uses the backdrop of the era more compelling.

At the end of the day, if you're on the lookout of a serviceable movie that features good individual performances, good action, and a decent mystery, Sherlock Holmes is your man.

Rating: 3/5

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