About the Movie Series
Observe. This film adaptation was my first real taste of the Sherlock Holmes character. I've never read the original novels, and at that point, hadn't watched the BBC's Sherlock series. So I went into this with an open mind.
I wasn't sure what to expect (the friend who recommended it to me just said it was very good), but it turned out to be a winner. Here's a reason why the modern Sherlock Holmes film series is excellent:
Reason 1: Intriguing Story
The original Sherlock Holmes stories are known for being cleverly written, both in terms of dialogue and story. Sherlock Holmes has an excellent story, which is clever, but not overly complicated. (I personally can't stand it when they overly complicate the story. I'm here to enjoy a movie, not to be sitting there confused!)
It's one of the those films that you have to remember what happens in previous scenes, as these moments are key throughout the film to progress the story and to try to work out the whole plot of the villain, before the main character does. I'll tell you something, it will certainly take you a few viewings of this film to remember all the little details! As Sherlock himself said, “in fact the little details are by far the most important.”
Reason 2: Great acting/chemistry between Robert Downing Jr and Jude Law
Robert Downing Jr. is fantastic as Iron Man in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. This was the first film that I had seen that featured the actor in a different role. Playing a clever detective is very different to playing a superhero, so I was glad that he is excellent. I cannot praise him enough – he is fantastic in these films. He brought a lot of energy into some scenes, and his quick talking-witty side to others.
His partner, John Watson played by Jude Law, is also great. Bringing a sense of order into the otherwise hectic ways of Holmes himself. Both of these characters are brought to life really well, with great acting, great use of accents and mannerisms. They really do bounce off each other well, which is one of the constantly great things about this film series.
Reason 3: More action-focused Sherlock Holmes
With the BBC series of Sherlock providing a great insight into the way that Sherlock Holmes' mind operates, we have a different approach to the film series. (Hence, there's only a small overlap between the two interpretations of the character) Here, we have a more action focused story. The movies usually involve Sherlock and Watson fighting bad guys, or running away from bad guys, but it is always high-paced and well-crafted in terms of editing.
One of the stand features is at a couple of times during the films, it slows down and shows us how Sherlock is going to defeat his opponent. This is done via slow-motion cameras, and Sherlock himself detailing all of his moves, how the opponent will respond and then we see it all in real time. It's a very well done technique, and while it's only used a few times during both movies, it's an effective way to show how fast his mind works, while giving the audience a little breather throughout the action.
Sherlock Holmes has a unique style. With it being the camera effects, editing, music and dialogue. Because of this, and the excellent portrayal of Sherlock himself and all the other characters, it's a must seen movie series which perfectly sits along sides Benedict Cumberbatch's interpretation of the character.
My One Big Highlight
I generally try to avoid featuring the ending to a film in my big highlight, since it is a big spoiler. If you are a little undecided about the film, wait until the every end. I especially like the ending to the first film, as it's one of cleverest endings I have ever seen. I won't spoil it here, but you will certainly like the film even more when you see it.
Elephant In the Room
T he big problem with Sherlock Holmes is nothing to do with the film itself. It's to do with the BBC TV show, Sherlock. A lot of people think that Benedict's portrayal of the character is a lot better than Downing's. While this may be the case, I still think Downing's is perfect for this film series, even if Benedict is a better Sherlock.