When I first saw Sherlock Holmes several months ago, I vaguely recalled liking it, even though I couldn’t remember much, save for those slo-mo sequences where Sherlock sized up his opponent before beating him up. Rewatching it yesterday, I figured out why:
1) The slo-mo sequences are prominent in the first half of the movie, then disappear. This is too bad, because Holmes continues to get into fistfights with everybody. It’s the one great idea that this movie has, using modern film technology to showcase Holmes’ analytical mind, but then it disappears. Since it’s the first thing fans of the movie talk about, look for the sequel to be clogged with these sequences from start to finish.
2) Quick, those who have seen the movie: What’s the central mystery of the film? You probably can’t remember. I’ve seen the damn thing twice and couldn’t tell you much about it. Some guy wants power. Oh, and Moriarity’s . . . well, he’s there too!
3) Did you know Rachel McAdams is in this movie? I guess she’s sort of a love interest, although it’s clear that Downey and McAdams have no chemistry at all. Sometimes, when they look at each other, they both wear expressions that say “I am contractually obligated to shoot this scene with you.”
4) The whole movie is just a big pile of stuff happening, and I didn’t give a crap about any of it. Holmes makes a quip, Watson gives him a look, the camera sweeps around CGI Olde England, then they’re somewhere else, making quips and looking at things.
5) The film is so choked with CGI that the entire thing feels claustrophobic. It’s like they filmed the thing in a basement then built Ye Old Cartoony England around the actors.
Sherlock Holmes looks fakey and is dull as dirt, but it made a lot of money and got good word of mouth because A) Robert Downey and Jude Law, even at their most bored, can be charming, and B) those two slo-mo sequences are cool. That’s it.