Since I heard that Guy Richie was directing a movie with Robert Downey Jr., Jude Law, Mark Strong and Rachel McAdams about one of the greatest fictional characters of all time, I have been dying to see Sherlock Holmes. It opened on Christmas Day and for the first time in my 23 years on this earth I not only wanted to go to the theatres on Christmas day for opening day of a film, but I convinced the rest of the family that it was a great chance for family bonding. I didn't believe that one bit, but upon leaving the theater we were all laughing and talking and reciting our favorite lines. Low and behold, we were bonding. I must say, however, that I believe that that was mostly owing to the fact that Sherlock Holmes was such a fine film.
It mixed all the great characteristics of the usual Guy Ritchie films like Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels with the epic adventure style of director greats like Spielberg. Imagine Indiana Jones meets Snatch. Sounds amazing doesn't it? Guy Richie's signature was all over the movie, just in a much more polished and large scale manner. You still had the amazing slow motion fighting scenes, at least one Irish folk drinking song, and of course the movie was set in the underworld of London Town with some of the greatest, quirkiest villains I've seen in a Richie film yet (I still think I love Vinnie Jones as Big Chris in Lock Stock best though).
It was really interesting how Robert Downey Jr. played Holmes. Having read the books, I've always seen Sherlock Holmes as a polished, suave, genius with impeccable style, and Watson as the smart but not so intuitive, rotund sidekick. That's how the movies generally portray them too. You can always count on Guy Ritchie and Robert Downey Jr. to shake things up. Downey Jr. plays Holmes as a hard drinking and unkept detective who's so brilliant he's a social cripple, almost on the verge of insanity. And it's amazing! The relationship between Holmes and Watson, played by Jude Law, is just classic. Watson is the intelligent doctor and somewhat unwilling right hand man to Holmes on all of his crazy endeavors. Where the literary duo has been typically portrayed as a sophisticated pair of intellectuals, Downey Jr. and Law play the team off as a bickering pair of best friends, both brilliant and both polar opposites, who fight like brothers and know just how to push each others' buttons. With a duo of such wits and character, hillarity and adventure obviously ensues.
If you haven't seen it yet, you have to! Not one person in my ecclectic family didn't like it. Even our English family friend (who was very wary of an American playing Holmes) laughed all the way through and ended up singing the praises of the film and Robert Downey Jr. It really is a movie for the whole family. If you don't want to take my word for it, check out the trailer below and you'll be a believer. How can you go wrong with Guy Ritchie and such an all star cast? It's elementary my dear Watson.
On my iTunes right now: Dashboard Confessional's "Swiss Army Romance." (Takin' it back.)