Movie beat: Geoff ‘Hollywood’ Bokuniewicz and Ritchie’s ‘Sherlock Holmes’

holmes
GEOFF BOKUNIEWICZ
Robert Downey Jr’s made a novel take on the source material, even if the source material probably didn’t place as much emphasis on really serious violence.

Let’s calm down, Guy Ritchie.

I had such high hopes for you after “Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels” and “Snatch.” I suppose I should have known that something was amiss after the latter of those two movies; it didn’t exactly show a whole lot of range.

Nevertheless, directors have and do make nice careers out of making the same movie over and over again. Heck, you can do that with books or music or anything nowadays. I doubt the next John Grisham book is going to be a farcical Renaissance drama, and the Rolling Stones probably aren’t going to do a funk album at this juncture.

That’s okay, though! You tried to do the same thing in “RockNRolla,” which wasn’t even up to the snuff of your other movies. It’s always a bad sign when a director flubs his specialty. I’m skipping over the infinitely regrettable “Swept Away,” as well as the simply bad “Revolver,” because I’m not convinced you actually tried to make those good.

It looked like you did in “RockNRolla,” though, and that’s pretty bad. That movie had some of the same pacing issues that I observed in “Step Up 2.” Even if somehow and some way it could be possibly construed as a good comparison, you don’t want to be in the same sentence with “Step Up 2.”

You’re better than that, because of your first two movies, along with 2009’s “Sherlock Holmes” shows. The first installment in this series was plain fun. I didn’t think Robert Downe, Jr. could pull off the accent as well as he would need to, but he ended up doing okay. It was a novel take on the source material, even if the source material probably didn’t place as much emphasis on really serious violence.

This second version – man, oh, man. I have no idea what’s going on in this movie. I don’t. I get really into the movies that I’m trying to review, generally, because I like to let the movie try and convince me of its quality. You got to give it a fair shot. Ladies and germs, I gave this movie a fair shot. No one likes a good two-hour exhibition of violence better than me.

After an extended sequence where Downey, Jr. uses a piece of fruit and a piece of classical music to take down a group of thugs, though, I kind of lost the ability to reason for the duration of the film. For a movie that purports to feature the world’s smartest detectives, this movie sure has a whole lot of really dumb stuff in there.

Sherlock Holmes (Downey) tricks Watson (Jude Law, in a performance sent through the post) by appearing in camouflage, which was camouflage of a wall and a bookshelf. That’s right. The world’s most brilliant mind is spending his days designing camouflage that only works in exactly one corner of his house. Some of this stuff wouldn’t make it on even the worst episodes of “Law and Order: SVU,” and people who watch that will believe anything.

I have to give this movie the vaunted one-and-a-half out of four stars. Robert Downey, Jr. will be getting near Johnny Depp’s territory if he keeps making movies like this. That’s not a good thing, unless you’re on board with crossing the line from in-on-the-joke to outright parody.

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