Sherlock Holmes Reviews
It seems that an evil aristocrat, executed for a series of murders, returns from the dead to mobilize an ancient secret society that he may have time-traveled into a Dan Brown novel to learn about. Doesn't that sound fascinating? I thought not.
It's a hollow attempt at modernisation, and quickly grows dull. Watson's big dilemma - whether to quit his life with Holmes for marriage to lovely Mary has, at heart, all the depth of a Wham! song.
Old London, achieved via superb visual effects, is breathtaking in its grimy verisimilitude. And Downey is charming. But his world is jarringly frenetic, in the manner of most Ritchie films.
Though purists may balk at Arthur Conan Doyle's literary world being manhandled into a blockbuster by never-subtle director Guy Ritchie, Downey has a winning take on Holmes: He's always on.
This is rip-roaring action-adventure of high order, a sometimes dizzying but ultimately thrilling display of showmanship on the part of the actors, director and screenwriters.
"Sherlock Holmes" may feel a little too modern, more adrenaline than brain-power, more brash than British, but it's an all right action-pleasure if you don't mind that the game's more a-fist than afoot.
By now we've seen so many good, bad, and indifferent Sherlocks that it's almost a relief to get something different, however wrongheaded. And there's no such thing as too much Downey.
The very idea of handing him over to professional lad Guy Ritchie, to be played as a punch-throwing quipster by Robert Downey Jr., is so profoundly stupid one can only step back in dismay.