“How do you make a great film? It’s elementary.”

What in the world has director Guy Ritchie done to the Sherlock Holmes we all know and respect? There is nothing elementary about his actions here. This character is so far removed that without the films title we would be hard pressed to believe it is Holmes at all. But it is. And it is fantastic. This Christmas Sherlock Holmes brings much needed and long awaited action, wit and excitement to the big screen. It was a year without Jack Sparrow but Robert Downey Jr. makes up for it in spades creating a sharp, fun, and larger than life character that movie goers will appreciate and applaud.

Sherlock Holmes (Robert Downey Jr.) along with his trusted and reserved sidekick Dr. Watson (Jude Law) are on a new case. This one involves Lord Blackwood (Mark Strong) who is a mystical figure in England with a diabolical plan to change the course of history. Using the art of black magic he has created what would appear to be a supernatural event that has many puzzled and even more in fear. As always Holmes must use fact over fiction to get to the root of the issue and show Blackwood for what he truly is.

Everything about this film works. It is funny, energetic and cleverly penned. Downey has proven himself over the last several years in roles like Iron Man and Tropic Thunder. This time he seals the deal by bringing to life a fictional character that might not be what we imagined but one we will forever associate. And he is equaled by Law’s rendition of Watson. The two are in perfect sync when it comes to timing and balance. The on screen chemistry is just what is needed to sell this crime solving duo. An appreciation too for Ritchie’s direction. Each scene is like a choreographed dance. Utilizing the writing in a clever way he breaks down Holmes’ thought process right in front of your eyes.

It is entertaining watching Holmes work through all of the clues he comes in contact with. Downey plays him as eccentric as possible without going over the edge. He still remains brilliant although a bit ungrounded. I think it is safe to say he does for Holmes what Depp did for Sparrow. Not an imitation or a fake reproduction of course. Holmes is uniquely his own. But in the same respect he takes a character that could be simply enjoyable and makes him extraordinary.

Sherlock Holmes is rated PG-13 for intense sequences of violence and action, some startling images and a scene of suggestive material. The language is very mild and the sexuality non existent. The only brief suggested scene is found in the trailer so parents know exactly what is in store. The only thing that may concern some would be Blackwood’s involvement in black magic. But this too is only part of the story line and not used with sensationalism. I give Sherlock Holmes 5 out of 5. Here’s to you Guy Ritchie, well done old chap. I am sure this will be on everyone’s favorite list this Holiday season. So says Matt Mungle

Matt Mungle (matt@mungleshow.com)

(5 out of 5)

Review copyright 2009 Mungleshow Productions. Used by Permission.

Be Sociable, Share!