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Sherlock Holmes vs the Nazi Empire

Remember when Guy Ritchie made films that were funny and entertaining?

Okay, so that was roughly around eleven years ago, but the promise of Richie's second film has been on diminishing returns ever since, having given us the flawed Snatch, a film with Madonna, and devolved into things such as RocknRoller. Sherlock Holmes, his first big screen, big budget film, completes the downward spiral and presents the audience with what can only be called one of the most boring cinema experiences I've had in the last six months. Admittedly, this isn't such a big thing because my film going has dropped to nothing, but I would tell you that your cash is better spent buying Murder She Wrote dvds, and watching as Angela Lansbury solves case after case, each episode filled with more actual detective work and mystery than Sherlock Holmes.

There's not much of Sir Conan Arthur Doyle's original vision in Ritchie's Sherlock Holmes, but that's not a real problem. Cutting here, slicing there--interesting things can be done with adaptation. However, Ritchie's Holmes--played by Robert Downey Jnr, who we now all forgive for whatever he did in the past--is an eccentric, but brilliant man who cannot handle not being in control. This characterisation is not given much play, however, as Watson--played by Jude Law, who I think we're currently punishing for something--and Holmes' relationship becomes one of a buddy cop action film. Think Jackie Chan and Chris Rock in the Rush Hour films. Think Will Smith and Martin Lawrence in Bad Boys. Think Mel Gibson and Danny Glover in the Lethal Weapon movies...

In fact, you should really think of the Lethal Weapon movies, since not only does Downey hold a passable resemblance to Gibson, but his life is meaningless without his non-sexual life partner, and he too has bad kung fu and meets all the wrong women. I can only imagine that the sequel will have Jet Li as Fu Manchu or something like that.

So, stripped of anything that might be interesting--cocaine usage, for example--Holmes and Watson become buddy cops involved in solving the mystery of Lord Blackwood, played by Martin Strong, and resembling a time lost Nazi. In fact, at one point during the film, I began to imagine a second plot line running in the back of the film. Bare with me here, because it's actually interesting. In this plot, Lord Blackwood, whose real name may or may not have been Fritz, was in the final days of Nazi Germany. He was a bad man. A man prone to burning. To black magic. To leaving the toilet seat up. But, this man, this Fritz Blackwood, is brilliant, and so he creates a means to escape his death at the hands of the Americans, and he creates a time travel machine. Unfortunately, something goes wrong, and he ends up thrust back in time, and born in an orgy of a cult that may or may not bare a passing resemblance to the Freemasons, and is forced to grow up rich and powerful and involved in black magic. From there, he decides that he can get his revenge on the evil British, who thwarted the Nazi plan by enlisting the Americans--and its okay, because he'll get to kill an American during the film--he begins an elaborate and detailed plot to assume control of Britain to change history and result in a Nazi victory, years from now.

Which, really, is what this film should have been about.



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Dec. 28th, 2009 09:08 am (UTC)

Okay, I saw this two hours ago and absolutely loved it. But your alternative version could be good too.
Dec. 28th, 2009 09:10 am (UTC)
my alternative version would be brilliant.

i know a few people who have really liked it. just left me cold, i guess.
Dec. 28th, 2009 09:28 am (UTC)
Oh you old curmugeon, you.
Dec. 28th, 2009 10:45 am (UTC)
you got no taste, man. everyone knows that ;p
Dec. 28th, 2009 05:33 pm (UTC)
Dammit you're right.
Dec. 28th, 2009 09:31 am (UTC)
It's probably worth bearing in mind that you don't like anything.

Which, you know, is cool.
Dec. 28th, 2009 10:46 am (UTC)
i like heaps of stuff. sunshine in the morning. cold drinks in the afternoon. films with characterisation and plot and style.

these are some of my favourite things.

Edited at 2009-12-28 10:46 am (UTC)
Dec. 28th, 2009 07:46 pm (UTC)
Your facade as the Hard Man of Australian Letters has slipped, revealing the soft fluffy teddy bear underneath.
Dec. 28th, 2009 10:45 pm (UTC)
i also like soft fluffy teady bears.
Dec. 28th, 2009 08:53 pm (UTC)
dude, you are such a grumpy old man
Dec. 28th, 2009 10:43 pm (UTC)
its a hard life, having taste
Dec. 28th, 2009 10:50 pm (UTC)
how would you know?
Dec. 28th, 2009 11:11 pm (UTC)
i saw it described on the back of a milk cartoon. it was very educational.
Dec. 28th, 2009 09:57 pm (UTC)
I wouldn't mind seeing it, but every time we see the ads on TV my husband says 'But Sherlock Holmes wasn't an action hero!' I may have to wait for it to move to the dollar theater.
Dec. 28th, 2009 10:44 pm (UTC)
there are some weird things done witht he action, actually. where holmes thinks things thru before it happens. it was suppose to show how calculated he was, but since they only use it twice, it just stops the flow of the scene and seems pointless...
Dec. 29th, 2009 09:11 am (UTC)
I can find myself in every facet of your opinion, from execration of "time lost Nazis" (where did that Gestapo jacket come from anyway?) to the buddy cop cliches.

But you're really amping the hate up to 11 aren't you? It was far better entertainment than my Boxing Day movie of last year, the truly awful Case of Benjamin Button a.k.a. Reverse Forrest Gump.

Did find it a bit frustrating, if only because films like this are an opportunity wasted. Holmes and Watson could be a fascinating relationship study but this, even if it's acceptable Hollywood porridge as far as I'm concerned, wrecks any chance of that.
Dec. 29th, 2009 10:10 am (UTC)
what, the hate? nah. i just thought it was was funny. lol. i didn't hate it, i just found it boring.

gosh. if i wanted to ramp the hate up... i could do better than that ;)

i'm glad someone else at least saw the gestapo jacket thing.
Dec. 29th, 2009 12:49 pm (UTC)
Import Export was the one good film I saw this Xmas. A depressing-as-hell story, but nowhere near as depressing as Sherlock Holmes.
Dec. 29th, 2009 10:20 pm (UTC)

im starting to get depressed by the people who loved sherlock holmes.
Dec. 29th, 2009 10:26 pm (UTC)
Totally depressing. We oughta form a facebook group. It make me afraid for the younger generation.... :)
Dec. 29th, 2009 10:28 pm (UTC)
'your movies are shit and its time you realised that' group.

i think most of the people commenting here are older than me...
Dec. 29th, 2009 11:12 pm (UTC)
I was making a joke about the younger generaton.

Good name of the group, btw.
Dec. 29th, 2009 11:51 pm (UTC)
oh, i know. i just left that older thing there for cat ;)
Dec. 29th, 2009 11:57 pm (UTC)
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