12.29.2009

Sherlock Holmes : 4 of 5

Whenever I'm in Oklahoma City, my parents and I try to see several movies in the incredible Warren Theater balcony, so we braved the somewhat icy roads to check out Sherlock Holmes the day after Christmas. Although I had only watched the trailer once, I knew this was going to be a cool film, re-inventing the classic super-sleuth with a Batman feel. Of course, the plot is still set in turn of the century London, but the movie-making style is 100% modern, using unusual editing methods (both slow and fast motion) and altered colors that make things appear as a kind of watercolor wash at times. The character of Holmes is really interesting, since he's kind of like a James Bond with attention deficit disorder. Without a problem to occupy his mind, his life falls apart, but when he's on a case, his thought processes are razor sharp, as shown through the film's unique "flash forward" technique that shows how Sherlock plans something (such as how to win a lightning fast fist fight) in the wink of an eye. There's also lots of flashbacks to show how small clues aided Holmes' famous deductive powers. All of the acting is really enjoyable (with fairly convincing, yet understandable, British accents), and Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law make a great team as Holmes and Watson. There are some serious action showpieces that really give this intellectual story a superhero flair - the slaughterhouse escape scene was especially exciting and intense! I was surprised that Professor Moriarty is only hinted at in this story, which makes this film kind of an introduction to the real saga that will hopefully begin with the first of many sequels. Seeing Sherlock Holmes was a fantastic way to finish off Christmas vacation with my parents, and I'm definitely looking forward to more adventures from the 221B Baker Street boys.