“Elementary, my dear Watson. Kick ass!”
I finally got round to watching Sherlock Holmes last night, a kind of steampunk take on Conan Doyle’s literary ’tec. In the film, the evil Lord Thumbsucker uses the premise that advanced tech seems like magic to the uninitiated and appears to rise from the dead to create a New World Order while Holmes and Watson race to thwart his evil schemes. In the meantime, Watson has reached puberty and is now a bit keen on some girl, while an old flame of Holmes’s gets thrown at him as an enticement by Professor Moriarty who merely lurks in the shadows because he’s waiting for the sequel.
Somehow everyone gets from the Houses of Parliament to Tower Bridge (under construction) in short order, and knowing that the grand finale has to take place in a precarious location, they ascend to the top of the bridge for the Big Fight™. This time Lord Thumbsucker really does dangle and they all go out for tea and cakes.
Overall, I’d say that Sherlock Holmes is not a bad film. It’s a little League of Extraordinary Gentlemen with its steampunk elements, although they’re much less pronounced than they were in LXG. Some of it departs a little too much from canon for my taste with Holmes taking to the ring and the pair of them going ninja on the villains, but it’s fun in its own way if you’re not going to demand too much of it. No sign of Holmes the drug addict except in one scene when he’s performing some arcane ritual, but perhaps 7% solution and Robert Downey Jr.’s history didn’t sit comfortably together.
As for the RDJ’s accent, before the IMDb was blocked, I saw a lot of comments about difficulties people were having understanding it. Actually, it was perfectly intelligible with occasional lapses into American sounds. The other issue was the allegedly gay sub-text, but Holmes and Watson were perhaps like schoolboys, one of whom had discovered girls. This seems to be a common theme of (American?) movie reviews, that two men can’t be friends without it being a gay thing.
1. On that score I’m wondering whether the associations which Avatar had for Chinese audiences had something to do with that; alternatively, Nanny feared what reactions there might be to the Confucius biopic: “That was my last arrow, Master. Any suggestions?” My dear Yan Hui, the Master says, ‘Kick ass!’
Eventually, the IMDb was unblocked, but the whole affair made no sense.