Tuesday, December 8, 2009
Who are these people and what have they done with Holmes and Watson?
A few months back, I saw the trailer for Sherlock Holmes and it left me angry and confused. Among the scenes shown was one were Holmes had been tied up naked on a bed, presumably in a hotel room, and he needed the help of a startled chambermaid to escape, and another where The World's Greatest Detective is in a bare knuckled boxing match, naked from the waist up.
Let me say two nice things about Robert Downey, Jr. He's a fine actor and he got himself in very good shape for this role where he's not wearing a shirt several times. But when you think of an actor playing Sherlock Holmes, your first question is not "How well defined are his abs?"
Even in this fully clothed picture, this isn't Holmes. The coat and the vest look like he's a Victorian dandy, but the hair and the three day stubble belong to an actor from the 21st Century. I'm not saying he has to wear the deerstalker hat all the time. Jeremy Brett only wore it on occasion, but he always looked like Holmes.
And then there's Jude Law. The menacing glare, the leather gloves and the weapon-like walking stick make it look he's stepped out of a Victorian version of A Clockwork Orange, not anything written by Arthur Conan Doyle. He doesn't have to be a bumbler like Nigel Bruce, but turning Watson into a bully boy is just wrong.
Downey and Law are both fine actors and I've enjoyed them in other works. Nobody knows what movies will be hits and what movies will crash, but I hope this bombs big time. I feel sorry for young people who may have never seen a Sherlock Holmes movie having this as their first experience, thinking that Holmes is just another action hero.