If you haven’t seen the movie, do. It’s funny, witty, anachronistic, and gritty. Holmes purists should walk away, however. You will be disappointed and irate. This is not the exceptionally cerebral Holmes, though he does think. Without giving away plot and point, the movie is a great way to spend a morning. We went to the matinee today, and for $5 movies, it was very much worth the price of admission.
The soundtrack was well done, with little themes that resonated their strains up and down the movie. At certain moments, they’d deaden the background noise or raise it up so that was all you could hear, reflecting well on what the characters were going through. The movie was filmed ‘dark’, but you could still see everything that was going on. It was gritty and earthy enough, and the casting of physical types was well done. Some of us argued that Holmes wasn’t scrawny enough or that Watson wasn’t fat enough, but I felt that the actors did perfectly.
From here on out, however, spoilers. So don’t read if you don’t want to know.
I’m not going to talk about Irene Adler because, frankly, she was window dressing. I could buy Holmes’ fascination with her, but I didn’t get the whole ‘greatest love’ angle. More like she’s the first woman who can keep up with him, and you know, fine, I get that.
Oh and the line ‘They’ve been flirting like that for hours’? Never happens. Pity.
The story was a love story, a buddy story, where the BroMance between Holmes and Watson was the star. The movie starts with the duo solving their final case, a mysterious ritual killing by Lord Blackwood, whom they catch before Lestrade manages to round up his men. Of course. It’s in this scene we get an idea of how Holmes’ mind works, as he deduces how to best defeat a night guard, and then proceeds to do exactly what he thought of a moment ago. They slow it down a little, so you can keep up with the mental and physical aspects. A few months later, Watson is moving out (having lived with Holmes for at least 7 months, I think I missed something there), and Holmes is in one of his black moods. He’s not left the house in weeks, let alone his room, and he’s taken to shooting V.R. in the wall, as well as poisoning the dog. Watson is to act as physician at Lord Blackwood’s hanging, and Holmes is requested as the Lord’s ‘last request.’
Before that, however, Watson tricks Holmes into meeting Mary, his fiancee-to-be (needs a ring, he does), which of course goes as well as you could expect, and Holmes finishes up dinner with a visit to his favorite bar/brawl place, The Punchbowl, and get roughed up. Holmes plays it even for a while, until he catches sight of a mysterious woman (Irene Adler, I think we were supposed to be surprised). Distracted, his opponent lands a good blow. Holmes wants to chase after Irene, so we get another look at how Holmes deduces and calculates. Wham, bam, thank you ma’am, he ruthlessly downs his sparring partner, the crowd goes dead silent, Irene has left, so Holmes goes up to his loft apartment (he has a spare, it seems) and gets drunk.
Shenanigans have been happening in prison, like a guard in convulsions, and the other inmates freaking. When Holmes arrives, the only person in the lower cells is Lord Blackwood, who’s put all sorts of cryptic ‘satanic’ symbols all around the cell. Lovely. He tells Holmes that he’s going to come back and kill three more times and there is nothing Holmes can do about it. Whatever, says Holmes, and after Blackwood’s hung until dead, sods off with the whole Irene Adler thing.
And then, of course, Blackwood rises from the dead, and we get a nice Doyle like plot with secret clubs who rule the government, midgets, magic (disproved by science) and a bit of love and a fight. I’ll spare you the blow by blow from here out, but they do a nice job of making everything seem like it’s black magic, but Holmes whips off the curtain and shows you the truth of it all. They don’t over use the trope of showing you Holmes’ inner mind before showing the actual events, in fact you get it twice, and then once you get it the other way. After Irene Adler shows up to hire Holmes (she was hired by Moriarty to do so, so there’s the next movie), you see two versions of what happens to her after she leaves. And it works pretty well.
The sub-plot of Watson getting married put the right level of tension between him and Holmes, and they really did act like best of friends. You could see the deep affection they have for each other, and yes, the love.
A very HoYay! Christmas, for a gaggle of Jews who are normally bored today.