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Sherlock Holmes (2009 movie)

A 2009 film adaptation of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's fictional character of the same name

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Good as a stand-alone piece, but doesn't compare to its literary counterpart.

  • Apr 12, 2010
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 The first thing to say is that I really did not expect to enjoy this as much as I did. However, there are points this review will touch on which I just didn't find fit in with the Sherlock Holmes universe. To take such an iconic character, and put a modern Hollywood twist to it, would undoubtedly generate some criticism from those who have read the original stories and are fans of the traditional Arthur Conan Doyle creation. Although there have been many incarnations of Sherlock Holmes in the cinema, this is the first to give Sherlock Holmes the big budget blockbuster panache that some thought would work well. As a stand-alone, the film worked well, but in comparison to one of literatures greatest creations, it just didn't work. 

The film naturally focuses on Holmes and his companion, Dr. Watson who are faced with possibly their most challenging investigation ever. Lord Blackwood, a serial killer who is executed for his crimes rises from the grave and is determined to use his supernatural powers to become leader of the British Empire and inevitably the world. Holmes has to use every facet of his talents to solve this mystery as he is faced with the supernatural, which he deems to be irrational. With the help of his friend Dr. Watson and a supporting cast of other great names in the novels such as Irene Adler and Inspector Letrade, Holmes works to solve one of the greatest mysteries he has undoubtedly ever faced. 

Do not get me wrong, I enjoyed this film, but I felt it was too much and diverged too far away from the character in the books to the point it felt that the film was just capitalising on a familiar name. Guy Ritchie has accomplished something of worth, however, in that he has put one of my favourite literary characters on the silver screen and managed to make him cool. One thing I will point out which, although insignificant, makes all the difference to fans of the novels perceptions of the film. The very appearance of Holmes is something out of place with the era that he is meant to be representing. The absence of the deerstalker hat in favour of a fedora, although a small difference is something that I thought looked too contrived. An attempt to make the character look cool to draw favour from the image obsessed modern culture whilst insulting the fans of the novels who took the time to get to know the characters traits and his appearance. 

The actors for their respective roles did well. Mark Strong as the antagonist, Lord Blackwood made for a very intimidating foe. His mannerisms, appearance and dialogue formed a very definite character in considering his purpose and mission in the film. Not being much of a fan of Jude Law in general, I was critical of the man going into this film, but I found myself enjoying his performance and appreciating the fact that he makes the perfect on screen Dr. Watson. The big discussion though is about whether or not Downey Jr. performed well in the role as Sherlock Holmes. In a lot of ways, he did really well. Some of the characters mannerisms we performed as you'd expect them and he just presented an all round realistic portrayal of Holmes, however, the accent didn't really work for me as it appeared as the typical way the British accent would be portrayed in a Hollywood blockbuster. 

The setting of 19th century London was superb and overall, as I mentioned above, on its own, the film did a great job of providing two hours of good entertainment. I think a worthy alternative for Downey Jr. would have been Hugh Laurie taking on the iconic role. He is both experienced in playing a character based on Holmes, has a superb, natural British accent and is also known worldwide in one way or another whether that be for his work on House or his other work on UK TV. I would recommend this as a decent bit of light entertainment and the nods to the book are a welcome wink to fans of Conan Doyles literary creation.
Good as a stand-alone piece, but doesn't compare to its literary counterpart. Good as a stand-alone piece, but doesn't compare to its literary counterpart. Good as a stand-alone piece, but doesn't compare to its literary counterpart. Good as a stand-alone piece, but doesn't compare to its literary counterpart.

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April 12, 2010
Pretty good review, although I have to say that I was really disappointed how this movie turned out to be. It was well-acted though and I have to admit Downey can carry the role; but it was just one of those standard popcorn flicks in my book. Thanks!
More Sherlock Holmes (2009 movie) reviews
review by . December 13, 2010
Lord Blackwood, serial killer and black occultist, has finally been brought to justice. Returning from the grave only gives more weight to his already potent reputation, as well as his ominous predictions of what is to yet to come. Yet, Sherlock Holmes seems too preoccupied with the imminent loss of his life-long bachelor friend and valued assistant, Dr. Watson, to act effectively against Blackwood's schemes.      Love seems to be the only thing to truly confound and successfully …
review by . August 17, 2012
posted in Movie Hype
*** out of ****    Guy Ritchie's "Sherlock Holmes" stylistically reverses the intentions that we are to expect from both cinematic and non-cinematic outings starring everyone's favorite titular sleuth. While we're used to an intelligent, perplexing labyrinth of a mystery; Ritchie's attempted "update" on the character and the "Sherlock Holmes" universe itself presents us with a mystery that is almost decidedly simplistic yet creatively drawn out for a larger, more modern and mainstream …
review by . December 29, 2009
posted in Movie Hype
FUN, Nicely Acted But the Screenplay is Very
   Sherlock Holmes was created by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and this character has clearly become a household name in the books of detective thrillers. Once again, Hollywood intends to re-imagine/revive/ re-issue the beloved detective under Guy Ritchie’s direction in 2009’s “SHERLOCK HOLMES”. Many folks would describe this movie as entertaining, fun and a piece of diversion. Diversion is such a loose word to use to describe a movie; after all even a shitty movie can …
review by . December 30, 2009
 ... while spinning in his urn, most likely. Robert Downey Jr once again proves himself to be the best actor of his generation and without him this movie would limp along, and its inconsequential paper-thin plot would be much more grating. Perhaps the biggest crime in the film is that Holmes - as a 2-dimensional vehicle for awesomely-intriguing detective tricks - is given a really lousy case that relies on some massive leaps of logic and an almost physic predictive ability.      …
review by . January 02, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
Through all the grime and soot of old London towne, Holmes found that clue.
It's probably a good thing that I've never read a Sherlock Holmes story as I might have only gone into this movie with a laundry list of facts and tidbits and leaving the theater annoyed at how much was spat on if in fact it was.      With what I know about Sherlock Holmes, being an urbane, professional, intellectual with his cap on his head and calabash in mouth, it was odd to see him a sweaty, dirty, fussy and unshaven pit fighting brawler with a dinky little pipe.  …
review by . May 13, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
SHERLOCK HOLMES       I wanted to see this movie so bad because I have always been a fan of Holmes and of course of Robert Downey Jr. So I was a bit disappointed when I missed it in the theaters and had to wait for the DVD/Blu Ray release and all that. So as I waited some things went down but eventually it was released. So naturally I went out and had to own this even without seeing it. Still that didn't matter we all wanted to see it so off we went to view the new Holmes movie. …
review by . March 31, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
  Sherlock Holmes (Robert Downey Jr.) and his assistant Dr. John Watson (Jude Law) have just closed another case by capturing Lord Blackwood (Mark Strong) who has dealt with murder, and been very involved with black magic. Lord Blackwood is hanged for his crimes; however, after several months rumors begin to spread that he is in fact still alive, by apparently using more magic to keep himself from dying. When Blackwood's coffin is opened, it is found that another man is there, and Blackwood's …
review by . March 25, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
Several years ago my brother introduced me to the films of Guy Ritchie. Fun stories, insane amounts of gun fire and some serious profanity. I remember getting my first taste of Jason Statham and not being able to contain my excitement when a fight was about to break out on screen and he was in the scene. Sherlock Holmes brings elements of past Ritchie films and incorporates the style with a classic Holmes story. And just as I yelled for blood during his previous movies, I did the same watching Holmes …
review by . January 02, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
As 2009 came to a close there were two movies in particular that were released that people had their eye on.  The first was Avatar, James Cameron's amazing visual spectacle.  The other was Sherlock Holmes, which dropped just after Christmas.  When it came to Sherlock Holmes it was hard to say what to think of it.            I rarely delight in movie previews and it's even rarer that I look at a preview and think to myself, "There's …
review by . January 05, 2010
A thoroughly entertaining take on Sherlock Holmes. A lot of UK critics seemed to have a downer on it, saying it runs out of steam, or the bromance elements of the Holmes/Watson relationship got tired, but I don't agree. The story for the most part cracks along, and Downey Jr and Law maintain the odd couple thing ably.       Plus, some fans may be miffed at how the Holmes character is portrayed as a brawling, dirty scruffbag. As I understand it though, …
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Steven Stewart ()
Ranked #95
Currently studying Law at University, my main interests revolve around Politics. I read quite a lot and love learning about History. Not just the history of a specific time, place and person, but I'm … more
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Sherlock Holmes
is a film starring Robert Downey Jr, Jude Law and Rachel McAdams.  The film will be released on Christmas Day 2009.

Sherlock Holmes is a 2009 film adaptation of Arthur Conan Doyle's fictional character of the same name. The film was directed by Guy Ritchie and produced by Joel Silver, Lionel Wigram, Susan Downey and Dan Lin. The screenplay by Michael Robert Johnson, Anthony Peckham and Simon Kinberg is based on Lionel Wigram's story and Doyle's characters. Robert Downey, Jr. and Jude Law respectively portray Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson. The film was released in the United States on December 25, 2009 and on December 26, 2009 in the UK and the Pacific.

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Genre: Action, Adventure
Release Date: December 25, 2009
Studio: Warner Bros Pictures, Village Roadshow Pictures
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