|Dr. Watson (Jude Law), left, Sherlock (Robert Downey Jr.) and Irene (Rachel McAdams) contemplate their next move in “Sherlock Holmes,” based on Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s hero.|
How much you will appreciate Guy Ritchie’s reinterpretation of famous London detective Sherlock Holmes depends entirely on how willing you are to accept Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s eccentric sleuth as a genetic cross between Indiana Jones, Jackie Chan and Tyler Durden from “Fight Club.”
Gone are the familiar deerstalker cap and ornate, deep-bowl pipe traditionally linked to the great detective, especially as portrayed by the immortal Basil Rathbone during a series of classic black-and-white movies from the late 1930s and ’40s.
Robert Downey Jr.’s “Sherlock Holmes” is a buffed and manly Holmes, an able and willing participant in both fisticuffs and sexual hanky-panky, while co-star Jude Law reinvents Nigel Bruce’s lovably bumbling Dr. Watson as a handsome gentleman physician who’s as handy with a Derringer as he is with a stethoscope.
This being a movie by Guy Ritchie – the British director who gave us the crime thrillers “Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels” and “Snatch” plus the abysmal Madonna vehicle “Swept Away” – this engaging work of pop cinema thrives more on attitude and action than on plot and character.
In fact, I’m not even sure I understood half of what was going on between the chases, punches and double entendres, but I took solace in the knowledge that all the “clues” to the mystery openly paraded before us would be explained and neatly tied up by Holmes before the closing credits. (Read more…)