Sherlock Holmes
directed by Guy Ritchie
(Warner Bros., 2009)

This is definitely not a film for the Holmes purist, but I somehow think Sir Arthur Conan Doyle would not object to this contemporary rendition of his classic detective.

This time, Sherlock (Robert Downey Jr., kicking off what seems to be another ambitious franchise) and Dr. John Watson (Jude Law) are facing Lord Blackwood (Mark Strong), a murderer and member of a secret cabal of mages, whose ambition is to take over England and, eventually, retake the United States. The cabal's artifices are designed to make Lord Blackwood appear as though he has arisen from the dead with great magical powers. Further devices will poison all of Parliament if they do not align themselves with his new order.

Our fearless duo is aided in their efforts to stop Blackwood's schemes by Inspector Lestrade (Eddie Marsan), con artist and thief Irene Adler (Rachel McAdams) and others.

The film is fast-paced and takes us through a grittier, more polluted London than you'll find in, say, Mary Poppins. Sherlock is not afraid to get his hands dirty and he's definitely depicted as a brilliant but dissolute individual. Everything happens so quickly that you are really going to need to pay attention to keep up with the clues in this action-packed epic.

review by
Becky Kyle

16 January 2010

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