Like my book reviews site, these are movie reviews I write for entertainment purposes only. These are just my reviews and my opinions. They are not endorsed by Blogger or any movie studios or anyone else. So there. I borrowed my scoring system from the Metacritic site, which does not imply an endorsement from them, although I think they do have a very nice website. I convert the 1-100 scores into 1-4 stars, essentially it works like this:

1 star = 25 points
2 stars = 50 points
3 stars = 75 points
4 stars = 100 points

And then if something falls about halfway between, then I'll give it an added half-star.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Sherlock Holmes

I've never read any Sherlock Holmes books or watched any previous movies, so the most I had ever really encountered the detective was on Star Trek:  The Next Generation when the android Data played Holmes on the holodeck.  So I really have no idea how faithful this latest version is to the books or previous movies, though I suspect not very.

This version of "Sherlock Holmes" starts off in Victorian London with Holmes (Robert Downey, Jr.) using some fisticuffs and kung fu to stop a Satanic ritual involving the sacrifice of a young woman.  The man making the sacrifice is Lord Blackwood, which creates quite the scandal.  Before Blackwood is hanged, he summons Holmes to his cell to claim that he'll return from the grave to not only murder again but to change the world.

After Blackwood is hanged, Holmes is at a loose end.  Making things worse is that his loyal sidekick Dr. Watson (Jude Law) is getting married.  But he finally gets some action when an old flame Irene Adler (Rachel McAdams) asks him to find a missing person.  That missing person turns out to be in Lord Blackwood's coffin.  From there more people are killed, there are double-crosses, chases, and a climactic battle on London Bridge.

Really they could have called this CSI:  Victorian London because it's about the same thing.  Or "Monk," "Psych," "The Mentalist," "Murder She Wrote" or just about any other mystery series on television only with better actors and special effects.  That's not really a dig, just a fact.  The movie certainly doesn't try to reinvent the genre, but it does try to have as much fun with it as possible.  This Sherlock Holmes is always cracking wise, even in a crisis.  The more serious Watson and devious Irene Adler make for good foils for comic bantering.  This makes the movie fun to watch from start to finish.  Sure some of the plot twists were obvious and the situations not very realistic, but it's an exciting ride.  And you have to admire whoever came up with all that stuff about Satanic rituals and what kind of residue certain chemicals make on a rat's tail and so forth.  How do you find out that kind of stuff?

That is all.

My score:  75/100 (3 stars)

Metacritic score:  57/100 (2 stars)

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