Tuesday, March 30, 2010

SHERLOCK HOLMES (2009) / ***

Distributor: Warner Bros.
Release Date: December 25, 2009
Genre: Adventure
Running Time: 134 minutes
MPAA Rating: PG-13

I believe I’ve only seen one Guy Ritchie film, “Snatch” (no, I never saw “Lock, Stock & Two Smoking Barrels”), and I didn’t think much of it. So while the trailer for “Sherlock Holmes” looked like it could portend a fun movie, I didn’t have much confidence in the director.

As it turns out, the charisma and chemistry of the film’s two leads, Robert Downey Jr. as Holmes, and Jude Law as his sidekick Dr. Watson, was more than enough to make “Holmes” a welcome addition to this year’s Christmas lineup.

Since I honestly didn’t know much about “Holmes” before I saw it (even though I saw it over two months after it came out), I wouldn’t feel right about divulging a lot of plot details in my review, since many of them took me by surprise and I probably enjoyed it more that way.

Downey Jr. and Law take up a majority of the screen time, and they are certainly a well-matched duo. Also effective is Eddie Marsan (“Happy-Go-Lucky”) as a lawman and Mark Strong (“The Young Victoria”) as the chief villain. The only casting decision that seemed out of place was Rachel McAdams. I was surprised I felt that way because I’ve generally enjoyed her in everything she’s been in, but here she seemed to be trying too hard to fit into a role she wasn’t meant for.

“Holmes” did manage to snag two Academy Award nominations, the first nominations to be attributed to a Guy Ritchie film. While it didn’t win either Best Original Score (“Up” took that prize) or Best Art Direction (“Avatar” was the winner there), it’s always nice to see the Academy recognize a fun adventure movie that doesn’t take itself too seriously.

While I can’t agree with the Golden Globe win for Downey Jr. (hello, Michael Stuhlbarg), it’s clear that he was the right choice to take on the role. With the end of this film easily lending itself to a sequel (and I’ve heard rumblings about a Bond-like franchise), that makes two roles Downey can now be identified with. What a comeback.

Theater: Marcus Theaters 20 Grand, Omaha, NE
Time: 920 pm
Date: March 2, 2010

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