Guy Ritchie may be my secret soul mate after all. I was never a huge fan of his work. His first two were okay, I actually cut him a break on Swept Away and dug Revolver for undermining his own genre. But Sherlock Holmes is so good it’s going to make me rewatch Lock, Stock and Snatch just to get another taste until Sherlock is out on Blu Ray.
Review: Sherlock Holmes
He really is James Bond, able to finesse his way out of any danger. There’s even a Jaws-like adversary who keeps coming back. It is such a confident performance, Downey is not afraid to be an A-hole or just plain gross. Holmes messes with inferior intellects. With Watson, it’s equal banter. The dialogue is so quick you’ll miss jokes the first time around.
Their physical collaboration makes their investigations and adventures flow together. The film seems to explain how an action hero survives extreme stunts. He may use an improvised shield. It’s only wood and cloth so it’s still unrealistic, but within the rules of the genre, he’s pretty smart.
Sherlock Holmes has the best fight scenes of any American movie. You understand each strike and it’s still cool and graceful to watch. Fight scenes incorporate the environment like a Jackie Chan sequence, but with the grand scale of a Steven Spielberg or Peter Jackson epic.
The mystery is as memorable as the action. Holmes makes intelligence fun. I actually think intelligence is fun anyway, but in case other people think it’s boring to be smart, this film shows how badass it can be.
The Guy Ritchie tricks might be a little trite. The film is so good, he doesn’t need to speed footage up or slow it down on the fly. It doesn’t hurt the film, and he does use it to highlight story moments. Things slow down when Holmes is thinking and speed up when he’s executing.
On the other hand, Ritchie’s frequent toying with time jumps works in Holmes’ favor. The deductive process is the fun part of the mystery, so Ritchie jumps back to visually show the audience what Holmes noticed. It’s the punch line to Holmes’ wit.
That’s really the essence of the movie. It’s so much fun, the whole movie is just having a blast, doing stuff just because it’s awesome. It may have more action and spectacle than Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, but it totally works.