Starring: Robert Downey Jr., Jude Law, Rachel McAdams, Mark Strong
Director: Guy Ritchie
Runtime: 128 min
Theatrical Release Date: December 25, 2009
Sherlock Holmes is Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s and perhaps one of literatures most prolific characters. A sophisticated, fiercely intelligent private detective – there is no case too complex or convoluted for Sherlock Holmes. The character brought to the big screen in this adaptation of Lionel Wigram's graphic novel is substantially different from the Holmes we’ve read about - while Holmes intellect remains intact, Robert Downey Jr. has imbued the character with a ferocity more becoming of a private detective who works on the gritty streets of old London. The film wastes no time introducing the brawler in Holmes, who must fight his way past henchmen before he can attempt to prevent the horrific crime Lord Blackwood is about to commit.
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=3333&w=l[/img]Whatever preconceptions I had before seeing this movie – I was impressed by the opening scene. The sequence much like the film itself is witty, fast paced, and full of action. Downey Jr’s Holmes may be a brawler – but it is made quite obvious that his effectiveness in a fight is due to his intellect and not brute strength. Jude Law’s portrayal of Dr. James Watson brings a refreshing dose of humor, common sense and grounding to the film that helps to counterbalance the at-times manic Holmes.
The story follows Holmes and Watson as they attempt to prevent Lord Blackwood from carrying out his evil plans. Lord Blackwood, who is apprehended at the beginning of the film, requests Holmes’ presence prior to his execution. Blackwood proceeds to prophesy that he will take Homes on a journey that transcends life and death, amongst other things. When Blackwood’s grave is found empty it is up to Holmes to solve the mystery of not only his resurrection, but the reason behind it.
Rating: The movie is given a PG-13 rating for violence and some nudity. There is almost no profanity.
Sherlock Holmes was filmed by acclaimed French cinematographer Philippe Rousselot primarily on 35mm film with certain sequences augmented by a 2K HD camera. There were no noticeable transitions from one medium to the other, though I did notice that dark scene and shadow detail were superb throughout. Both film grain and fine detail appear natural and free of any digital artifacts. In keeping with the old world feel of the film, close-ups and single shots of the females in the movie tend to employ a slightly softer focus which while subtle is a great stylistic choice in my opinion.
Sherlock Holmes features superbly rendered dialogue that remains crystal clear and intelligible throughout the film. Low frequency effects dig deep but are not artificially extended like many recent releases. While this film didn't make much use of the surrounds in comparison to Avatar and Star Trek, the surround channels integrate very well with the fronts to create a very immersive experience.
While this film has enough witty dialogue to keep you entertained regardless of your taste for action, it does suffer from poor pacing at times. I left the theater thinking that Ritchie could perhaps have left a bit more film on the cutting room floor. If you are looking for a popcorn flick with plenty of action and a few laughs thrown in, Sherlock Holmes will fit the bill quite nicely.