2009, 12, Directed by Guy Ritchie
As far as the plot goes, Holmes and Watson are pitted against Mark Strong’s Lord Blackwood, an evil practitioner of dark magic. As far as villains go, he emerges as a pretty tame one, compared to say, The Joker from Christopher Nolan’s Batman series. In fact, comparing the two franchises, it is clear the route Ritchie is headed for; whilst Gotham upholds a mystique of darkness, Holmes' Baker Street abode is sat in a murky London where you somehow just know everything will work out for the better. However, for all the tongue that lies firmly in cheek, there is an underlying seriousness to proceedings, which is expressed through some left-field twists. It is unfortun ate thatthe film’s ultimate undoing is the reversal of these twists, leading the film to become tiresome and, when all is said and done just a bit too cheeky: it seems as if all the characters are savvy to everything, and simply withholding the relevant information from the watchful audience - all for the sake of extending the film’s running time.
As for Rachel MacAdams’ Irene, the word that springs to mind is – quite simply – unexplored. But with heavy reliance on the often hilarious interactions between buddies Holmes and Watson (Holmes points a sword in Watson’s face, to be told ‘get that out of my face’. Holmes' swift response? ‘It’s not in your face, it’s in my hand’), as well as welcome stylistic action, Sherlock Holmes is not the disaster many people may have expected. And with a teaser tantalisingly placed near the film’s climax, the sequel – Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows – has just hit cinemas amidst plent of excitement.