Detective Sherlock Holmes and his stalwart partner Watson engage in a battle of wits and brawn with a nemesis whose plot is a threat to all of England.

Netflix, IMDB

Director: Guy Ritchie
STC Genre: Whydunit (obviously). Though overstretched towards superhero, in my opinion.

  • “Detective” – clearly, Sherlock
  • “Secret” – the magic of Blackwood
  • “Dark Turn” – Blackwood’s evil plans that turn out to be more evil than the “magic” itself

Oh, by golly… This is another “Inception” style movie – supercool special effects in complete disregard to the story and other minor nuisances of filmmaking. I guess, I’m as much pissed at butchering the great classic as I’m impressed with the CG dazzle. It wouldn’t be half as bad if they simply called the main characters different names and removed any explicit references to Conan Doyle. However, even then the Holmes character who’s supposed to be brainy, elegant and minimalistic (minimum action, maximum effect), in this movie blasts through the roof in fast action sequences with no time to think, and often no chance for elegance. The mismatch of character and action, theme and pace, story and visuals are abound. The supposed Sherlock’s main character traits look like obvious plugs.  For instance, thorough analysis followed by precise execution appears in a couple of  corny fight sequences. Attention to detail and power of deduction are spotty and often happen in exactly the wrong places (like at dinner with Watson’s fiance). In contrast, the brute force blockbuster sequences that are well-timed, well executed and brilliantly designed, make Sherlock look totally like James Bond. So, who are you, Sherlock? I’m confused…

The lesson for me is: the mere structure is not enough. The art component should not be forgotten, or you risk to create a conveyor belt cookie cutter movie that makes a buck on flashy trailer, big names and adrenaline rush. More specifically, the components must be well fitting together. The characters must fit the story. The action and effects must serve and enhance the characters and the story. And the visuals must match the expectations for all of the above.

I mean, do you really believe Sherlock can look like a hot disheveled cowboy? With a pretty woman on his tale?? Drinking and fighting like Tom Cruise in The Last Samurai??? Come on already…

For comparison, watch the Russian TV series on Sherlock Holmes – you’ll know what I mean. Seriously.