Friday, December 30, 2011

Sherlock Holmes 2: Funny, Fast-Paced and Violent

To a person, each of us in our family enjoyed Sherlock Holmes 2 last night. The movie, directed by Guy Ritchie, has plenty of fans; it already has grossed more than $100 million in North America and nearly $50 million worldwide. Critics give the movie mixed reviews, but we liked it a lot. It stars Robert Downey Jr. as Holmes and Jude Law as Dr. Watson, his sidekick.

It wasn't easy coming up with a movie we four could see together. The 15-year-old, who is reading Steig Larsson's  crime trilogy, was/is keen on seeing "The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo."  It's rated R and that son said it was not appropriate for our 12-year-old son, who was begging to go to "The Adventures of Rin Tin Tin." My husband and the 15 year old weren't so interested. My suggestion of seeing "Alvin and the Chipmunks Movie: Chipwrecked" was met with laughter from the three guys. ("Come on, it is showing at the Dunellen Theater and Cinema Cafe. It's a restored movie house from the 1920s. Wouldn't it be cool to go there?")

Sherlock Holmes 2  is rated PG-13 and in addition to being funny, action packed and mostly free of sexual innuendos, it is plenty violent. While our sons are not bothered by shoot-em-up scenes, poisoned heroines or multiple explosions, I ended up covering my eyes for a few of them.  (Is this a girl thing?) The plot is a classic showdown of good vs. evil and, being a Hollywood movie, you can guess at the ending.

This movie offers up beautiful costumes, a fast-paced plot, unexpected moments of humor, gorgeous vistas and  cool "bullet time" shooting. For me, another pleasure of the film is its star, Robert Downey Jr.  I am a huge fan of Robert Downey Jr., the person as well as the actor. Here is a man who has fought against his own demons and triumphed.

Audiences are incredibly blessed Downey is still alive and working as an actor. He struggled mightily and publicly with drug addition and spent time in prison. Sober since 2003, Downey's talents are on full display here. Downey IS Sherlock Holmes, as much as he IS Ironman in that series.

While  this movie is not "family friendly" in the traditional sense (i.e. Chipwrecked) it was an excellent match for our family of four with two adolescent boys. We laughed out loud, we were surprised by the plot twists, and we left the theater full of happy conversation.


  1. Maybe it is just me but it hard to think of anyone as Sherlock Holmes other than Jeremy Brett, the late actor who played it to near absolute perfection in the BBC granada TV series. That was a work of art so near to the description of Holmes by Sir Doyle that you began to doubt if Sir Doyle had seen Brett through a time machine and written Holmes or vice versa. I have seen many movies and serials of Holmes by various productions but Brett can never be replaced as Holmes. For me, Holmes never dies at Reichenbach Falls (though Doyle was forced to get him back in the Adventure of the empty house). For me, Holmes died the day Brett died. Every great actor or director once in their lifetime gets buried under a tomb of immmortality because of one performance or movie (Ramesh Sippy could never shake off SHOLAY....never). Same with Brett...till his end, he could never be anyone other than Holmes.
    I tried seeing Holmes Part 1 as potrayed by Robert Downey jr.....How does one describe it?Too painful to watch one of the greatest fictional literary figures ever being massacred by mediocrity. I stopped after 20 minutes and went back to the comfort of youtube to see Brett in my favorite story of all...The Adventure of the Dancing Men. No offence against Downey Jr. He may be a fine actor but the nuances you need to play the mad genius of way. It's like asking any actor of today to re-enact Vijay Verma of DEEWAR...That was a role that Amitabh was born to play.

  2. @Rahul: Thanks for stopping by and commenting. Now you have inspired me to find a copy of the BBC series. I love the idea Sir Doyle spied Brett through a time machine and wrote the part for him!

  3. I loved the first one and am looking forward to the second.

    Girl with the dragon tatoo...I am forever scarred after seeing this last night. I suggest against it unless you can handle those kind of sexually morbid movies better than I.

  4. @Sarah: That would be a no. Thank you for the warning.