Wednesday, January 13, 2010
Sherlock Holmes: Identity theft
AS A COMMITTED Sherlock Holmes buff, I couldn't pass up the opportunity to check the latest version of the super sleuth and his companion, Dr. Watson. My time would have been better spent re-reading the Hound of the Baskervilles. The current release is a clear case of identity theft. The title character could easily have been Mike Hammer or even James Bond. Played by Robert Downey Jr., through no fault of his own, Sherlock was often a kooky private eye frequently engaged in bare-fisted encounters with guys who should have taken him out with one punch, but being a movie, lost every time to their smaller combatant. The stunts, special effects and fiery explosions played heavily to rising audience expectations of today's crop of films; that is, if you are looking for a way sell Armageddon and Mt. Vesuvius in one sitting that shatters ears and credibility. Gone were Sherlock's (I'm thinking, Basil Rathbone) stylish exchanges with an admiring Watson (Jude Law), and Conan Doyle's genius in connecting all of the dots that lead to Holmes' success as a superb crime solver through his ability to find meaning in a blank scrap of paper. I know. The picture is running second to Avatar in popularity. But it owes the original character an apology for stomping all over the hero's soul.