tek's rating: ½

Sherlock Holmes (PG-13)
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Caution: spoilers.

Wasn't quite sure if I should put this under "period" or "action/adventure," but obviously I went with the latter. It also could almost be considered "science fiction," in a Jules Verne kinda way. But not quite. And it flirts with "supernatural." But whatever. Um... so, the movie came out in 2009, but I didn't see it til 2012, when some relatives had me over to watch it with them. It's about Sherlock Holmes, the famous detective created by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, whose stories have been adapted countless times in TV and movies, and sometimes, as here, reimagined with completely new stories, and a somewhat more modern perspective. The movie's set in 1890 London, so it's got a bit of a period feel, but... it's definitely more action-y than most Sherlock Holmes stories. I should say I rather liked the way it was filmed, with occasional flashbacks or... um, it's odd. Quick cuts of things that happened just a little while before the current scene or things that will be happening momentarily. These things are neat little ways of demonstrating Holmes' methods... which in a way, kind of reminds me of the TV series Sherlock (which is set in the present). Just about the only thing I didn't like about the movie is that I couldn't always make out what people were saying. Not sure why; probably the fault is in myself, not the movie. Though there were aspects of the plot that were a bit confusing.

Anyway... it begins with Holmes (Robert Downey, Jr.) and his sidekick, Dr. John Watson (Jude Law), at the (apparent) climax of their latest case. Someone was performing an occult sacrifice of a young woman, but they managed to prevent it. The culprit turned out to be Lord Blackwood, who was taken into custody by Inspector Lestrade of Scotland Yard. Blackwood was later hanged for his crimes, but not before a jailhouse visit from Holmes, whom he told his plans would continue, and Holmes couldn't stop it.

Meanwhile, Watson is engaged to a woman named Mary Morstan, so he's planning to move out of the place he shares with Holmes. And he's planning to stop working with Holmes (their last case was their last case together). There's a certain degree of awkwardness between Holmes and Watson throughout the movie, because of this. But when Blackwood later returns from the grave, Holmes and Watson continue working the case together. After all, it's technically the same case as before. There's also an American woman named Irene Adler (Rachel McAdams), a high class thief, who's both a love interest and nemesis of Holmes (she's the only person who's ever beaten him before). She's currently in the employ of a mysterious man whose face is never seen (though Sherlock Holmes fans should easily guess his identity, and by the end of the film, learn they were right). He wants Irene to get Holmes to look for a man named Reordan, who was involved in the criminal activities of Lord Blackwood... but Reordan soon turns up dead (in Blackwood's coffin). Irene ends up working with Holmes and Watson to stop the plot which the resurrected Blackwood has set in motion. I can't really say much else about the plot, except that it involves a supposedly magical secret society called the Temple of the Four Orders, of which Blackwood was a former member.

Naturally, the good guys win in the end, but Irene's employer is set up as the villain for the sequel, A Game of Shadows. Can't really think what else to say, except it was a fairly cool, stylish, interesting and amusing movie, with good acting and everything.


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