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A Reel Life film section

Issue: 2009

Sherlock Holmes (2009) movie review

Superbrain Superhero


Set in Victorian England, the world's most famous consulting detective embarks upon another investigation to save the realm from dastardly evil-doers.

In this twenty-first century reworking of the great Arthur Conan Doyle character, Sherlock Holmes is a superhero. In the title role is Iron Man Robert Downey Jr, looking fabulous for his age and personal history, with Jude Law as the able, and somewhat frustrated sidekick.

Holmes has always been a man of intellect, not an action hero, and it would be more respectful (a word not often heard in Hollywood) to create a new Victorian hero than scratch and scrape at a classic detective.

Movie poster; Sherlock Holmes (2009); Festivale film review; 220x329

Movie poster, Sherlock Holmes
Nothing Escapes Him

What's next? Will Dorothy Sayers' Lord Wimsey being donning a mask and solving impolite crimes with or without his personal angst?

We were not kind to the film-makers who created a new, fictitious queen and called her Elizabeth I , and we are not going to be at all kind to those who ruined a perfectly silly period superhero adventure by capitalising on the famous names of Sherlock Holmes and Arthur Conan Doyle.

On the positive side, the effects are great, the costumes are nice, and there is a strong female character on the team. On the negative, it reduces Holmes to a comic strip.

Movie poster; Sherlock Holmes (2009); Festivale film review; 535x136
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by Ali Kayn
Due for Australian release 26 December 2009
For credits and official site details, see below
Search Festivale for more work by the film-makers below.

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Just the facts:

Title: Sherlock Holmes (2009)
Written by: Arthur Conan Doyle (characters Sherlock Holmes, Dr. Watson); Michael Robert Johnson (screenplay) and Anthony Peckham (screenplay) and Simon Kinberg (screenplay); Lionel Wigram (screen story) and Michael Robert Johnson (screen story)
Directed by: Guy Ritchie
Running time: 128 mins
Rating: M

The Players: Robert Downey Jr., Jude Law, Rachel McAdams, Mark Strong

Official website:
IMDb entry

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