Sherlock Holmes directed by Guy Ritchie; Warner Home Video, 128 minutes.
Starring Robert Downey, Jr., Jude Law, Rachael McAdams, and Mark Strong.
The mystery genre has always been slightly problematic for me because it seems easy to connect events through tenuous circumstances and odd observations. Suppose the killer has dirty hands: the mystery writer makes the detective deduce that the killer works in the coal mine in the neighboring county. However, dirty hands do not guarantee the occupation of this individual. The killer perhaps recently landscaped his or her backyard. The foundational reasoning in Sherlock Holmes carries these same inferences.
Logic aside, Sherlock Holmes mixes both good and bad in a strikingly mediocre movie. Concerning what is good; Robert Downey, Jr. hoists the movie on his back bringing eccentricity to the Sherlock Holmes character. In mannerism and speech, Downey creates a magnetic character capable of keeping the audience entertained long after the rest of the movie sputters out.
On the bad side, Sherlock Holmes flows poorly. The storyline is hard to follow as Holmes and Watson wreak havoc on Nineteenth Century London. The writing does little to direct the viewer as clarity is sacrificed for a psuedo-intellectualism. I often did not know what Shrelock Holmes was saying but he certainly sounded knowledgeable! Additionally, big visuals and action scenes overshadow the intrigue of this would-be-mystery thriller.
Despite its many flaws, Sherlock Holmes is an entertaining movie. Robert Downey, Jr’s performance redeems the movie in my mind and makes it watchable. I recommend Sherlock Holmes as a Saturday-afternoon rental.