Other than football, baseball, and illegal gladiatorial competitions,the only TV show I keep up with is FOX's House.
This is mainly because my neighbors are all out on Monday nights,allowing me to crawl through the tunnel I dug into their basement andsit for an hour in front of this eldritch glowbox they call the"television" before I'm forced to scurry back to my reed-nest on thebanks of the Columbia. Though a list of ways I love that show is solong it would force us to build a second Internet, among my favoriteparts is the relationship between Hugh Laurie and Robert Sean Leonard,a dynamic that's heavily inspired by Conan Doyle's SherlockHolmes novels.
And which is mirrored, in similarly modernized fashion, in GuyRitchie's Sherlock Holmes. Here I would make some insightfulcomment about snakes eating their own tails if I weren't currently sofever-riddled I have to sleep in asbestos blankets. Point is,House does does the Watson/Holmes thing better than the newmovie, but Sherlock Holmes is just fun enough to justify thesequel they're obviously banking on.
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Once Robert Downey, Jr. (as Holmes) and partner Jude Law have put themurderous black magician Mark Strong in prison and slated forexecution, Downey falls apart. Brawling, late-night experiments, weekslocked in his room — without a case, he's lost.
But after Strong is hanged, he returns from the dead, busting out ofhis crypt and escaping into London to resume his dark rituals. Only amind as sharp as Downey's may be able to stop Strong before he raisesthe evil forces he plans to use to rule the world.
Downey is in that rare class of actor who makes everything he's inbetter. Right now I'm so sick I can barely tellwhat season it is, but if Downey walked through the door wearing anurse's uniform and carrying a thermometer and an enema bag, I'dconsider it the happiest day of my life.
It's no big shocker, then, that he brings all kinds of wit andeccentricity to the part. It is surprising he has any good material towork with at all, considering Sherlock Holmes' script waswritten by no fewer than four different writers.
It's been my experience that any time a script has more than twoauthors, it will almost inevitably end up disjointed andschizophrenic, often with a plot that makes so little sense the onlyway to understand it is to insert a whisk inside 6-8 inches into yourear canal and beat rapidly. Sherlock Holmes feels cohesive, atleast, and is plenty funny, but it's also marred by a certainblandness of plot to the point where you hardly need to be a Holmes towork out where the whole thing ends up.
Meanwhile, director Ritchie, despite a spotty career, is more thanqualified to handle the movie's grimy, kinetic action scenes, and hismini-montage techniques are perfect for speeding through Downey'scomplicated deductions.
That's all enjoyable enough, and the detailed relationships betweenDowney, Law, and con-woman Rachel McAdams sets some serious groundworkfor a franchise. To this I offer a mild but honest "Sweet." Still,unless they move past the typical plots and archetypal charactersdisplayed in Sherlock Holmes, they'll be skating on thin ice.