Saturday, 14 August 2010
Film: Sherlock Holmes (2009)
After such a good version on the TV over the last three weeks, perhaps the recent film didn't really stand much of a chance in my opinion, but I will be fair: it was a lot better than I had expected, and a pretty good period-action-adventure film. Unfortunately, I still wasn't quite convinced by Robert Downey Jr. as the title character. To me he came across as inconsistantly Holmes-ish, and as the film went along the Holmes-ish moments became longer and more frequent, but he wasn't actually Holmes to me. My impression was that he was trying too hard. His accent, his mannerisms, came across as a little too forced and unnatural, instead of the carelessly deadpan snarker, he came across as a smartass, as well as a bit clumsy and clownish. He did very well when Holmes was being more serious or showing off his "Holmes Clevers" but in other scenes I wasn't convinced. It's not that I objected to the action scenes when I came to watch the film itself (having been re-educated on the nature of the Holmes stories) but the way they were executed left me cold.
Jude Law as Dr Watson, on the other hand, was perfect. I find Law one of the more distinctive actors around at the moment and yet in this film I was able to forget he was Jude Law and just see Doctor Watson. Unlike the TV Series, which focuses on Holmes and Watson's first meeting and cases, these two have been working together for a long time and have an easy, bantering relationship.
Although the film-makers did a wonderful job of scene-setting, almost certainly using plenty of CGI to get some pretty marvellous landscapes of Victorian London, the film felt more like a period drama by a modern author than the TV series, which although set in the present day, captures the spirit of the original.