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RDJ's Sherlock Holmes Review

Updated: Aug 18, 2020


We’ve seen a lot of renditions of Sherlock Holmes, and here, we review the two movies that have arguably given the most accurate and jaw dropping (not to mean the most pop culture friendly) rendition out of them all. Two beautifully thought out and well rounded films in general, Sherlock Holmes and Sherlock Holmes: A Game Of Shadows have a lot to offer to rile up the literature buff, pop culture maniac, as well as the inner detective within you.


When we talk about the plot of this film, it’s important to note that the inspiration these films take from the books is limited to certain characters only. This was a very well-thought out step by the writers, simply because while it did give the literary Sherlock aficionados the satisfaction of seeing their original characters in accurate settings (something that we’ll explore in the cinematography section in detail), it also gave the writers the creative freedom they needed to create what I feel is one of the best plots ever written in the history of modern cinema over two films. The reason for that is that most sequels feel disjointed from the first film in many ways, like most avid movie-goers know. However, there is a very strong sense of cohesion when it comes to these two films, not to mention that the overall quality in itself is incredible, as it has to be in order to make an average production based off the wizardry of Sir Doyle, and this cumulative effort by Silver Pictures, Wigram Productions and Village Roadshow pictures with the backing of cinema big names like Guy Ritchie and Warner Brothers Studios resulted in these two Sherlock films that are simply amazing. Of Course amazing is what you get when you combine the star power of guys like Robert Downey Jr and Jude Law as Holmes and Watson. To get into the intricacies of it without giving much of the actual plot away, I’d say that the plot of these two films is much like an actual Sherlock story, figuratively speaking. To explain further, apart from the aforementioned sense of cohesion, there is also the classic hopeless worst-case scenario trope that is broken through with the genius of Holmes, backed up by the tenacity of Watson, with the twists and turns that are characteristic of a battle between a genius yet eccentric case solver and a villain with brains and brawn beyond belief. A special mention should go to the ending of the second film, which in all honesty, deserves the same level of praise that was afforded to the ending Christopher Nolan gave to the Dark Knight trilogy.


While this is very likely the aspect of the film that goes unnoticed to most viewers, it’s my favourite aspect of the film for a multitude of objective reasons. To start off, the sheer authenticity of the set design and shooting locations is mind bogglingly accurate to the point you actually feel you’re in industrial Europe. There is no praise higher that you can give to a movie setup as far as that is concerned. Moving on to the cinematography, it’s responsible for some of the most iconic Hollywood shots ever that make very good use of showing fast paced action sequences and chase scenes in slow motion, and the dramatism that is created by using a wide variety of shooting styles and camera angles is really only second to the cinematography that we see in billion dollar films (in a figurative sense of course, there are multi million dollar films with better cinematography).


Well with these two films being action thrillers, there is no way the fight scenes can be left out of the analysis for it. To be more specific we’ll look at the fight choreography, and let’s just say that it is brilliant, at the very least. The reason for that is, to put it simply, that the fight scenes, whether one-on-one or otherwise, are the most standout ones I have ever seen, whether we talk about the fight choreography that is executed as if the one performing it is a Mixed Martial Arts athlete or the actual execution itself which is flawless. The fight scenes have made use of everything from hand-to-hand combat to large cannons and machine guns, so there’s no lack of versatility either. All in all, genuinely the most unique fight scenes in cinema, and combine that with excellent cinematography and you see why “discombobulate” has its own subreddit.

To finish it off, I’ll just say that this film is a must watch for anyone even remotely interested in the spy/detective film genre. If you also like thrillers and films that are typically British, it is once again a must watch film. To do justice to the legend that Sir Conan Doyle created, one must put in a lot of effort to keep true to the original in the way the characters are, but at the same time give us a new story to enjoy, and Robert Downey Jr and Co have done it better than anyone else can (better than a certain Buttercup Cucumbersnatch did).

Everything aside, this really is a must watch two-part series for any cinema lover.


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