Elementary, My Dear, Sherlock Holmes Is The Biggest Moocher

Who me? Robert Downey Jr. plays an inglorious bastard.

If there ever was an inglorious bastard, Sherlock Holmes (Robert Downey Jr.) fits the description. Using Dr. John Watson’s (Jude Law) dog as a test subject for his experiments, dragging his best friend into battle as he runs from the large boulder-like henchmen he just pissed off and shamelessly ruining his friend’s courtship with a lady, Holmes is that friend you all know and love: the moocher.

“Holmes, does your depravity know no bounds?” his friend Dr. Watson even asks him.

It's nice to have famous friends, but too bad Sherlock Holmes (Robert Downey Jr.) is a moocher.

Yet you can’t hate Sherlock Holmes, even as he is rummaging through your clothes because he had run out of clean closes to wear. You can’t hate Sherlock Holmes, even as he lands you in a night in jail, as your girlfriend bails you out the next morning. You can’t hate Sherlock Holmes as he purposefully leaves his gun in your hand, knowing that you will reluctantly follow him into danger.

Yes, you might get frustrated, angry and even despise the bastard who got you into trouble, but you can’t totally hate Holmes because you admire him. You respect the intellectual prowler and his impeccable power of observation. You value his logic and reasoning, despite his ability to uncannily rope you into his latest scheme, abusing your good intentions.

Hey, House and Wilson, no homo or anything...

Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law become the Dr. Gregory House (Hugh Laurie) and Dr. James Wilson (Robert Sean Leonard) from the television drama House M.D. of the big screen in Director Guy Ritchie’s latest released film Sherlock Holmes.

In additional to Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law’s budding bromance (as Holmes succeeds in making Watson his bitch), the fast-paced, action-packed thriller is filled with a bunch of other goodies.

The first few minutes of the film might as well have been a scene from Blizzard Entertainment’s hellish role-playing game Diablo as two guys two guys run through a mausoleum-type building, men in long hooded cloaks following their wake as a woman strapped to the alter awaits sacrifice.

The first rule of fight club is, you don't talk about fight club.

Downey’s Jr. narration of how to properly dispose a guy is reminiscent to the narration of David Fincher’s film Fight Club—dark and biting. The sequence of the fight scenes are quickly spiced with half second clips, and the original music from Hans Zimmer is superb.

Meanwhile, the beautifully filmed filth of London will have you hum Sweeny Todd’s “No Place Like London”: “There’s a whole in the world like a great black pit, and the vermin of the world inhabit it, and its morals aren’t worth what a pin can spit, and it goes by the name of London.”

Like anyone else fond of the television shows such as House, Bones, CSI, Numb3rs, and Criminal Minds, I love a good mystery. In this case, I loved how all the pieces fell in place —much like how all the scenes in Quentin Tarantino’s Inglorious Bastards came together— as Holmes began to question his firm belief in logic with the case of Lord Blackwood’s (Mark Strong) resurrection from the grave.

Meanwhile, Holmes’ peculiar relationship with the Irene Adler (Rachel McAdams), a petty criminal who loved to steal expensive jewelry, will have you questioning Holmes already promiscuous morals.

“In another life, Mr. Holmes, you would have made a excellent criminal,” Inspector Lestrade (Eddie Marsan) tells him.

A threesome, anyone?

Yet despite how close Holmes is to picking the lock for the sole purpose of stealing, he does not pick the locks out of moral ambivalence but intellectual curiosity. Holmes is attracted to Irene Adler, not only because she’s a pretty face who would most likely screw him over like one of John Keat’s “La Belle Sans Merci”s, but because she is a complex character.

As the film ends with hints of a sequel, the ingenious detective of Scotland Yard will guarantee a fun ride.

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3 thoughts on “Elementary, My Dear, Sherlock Holmes Is The Biggest Moocher

  1. Excellent review! I loved all the allusions to poetry, film, theater and Blizzard Entertainment! I haven’t picked this one up yet, a lot of people are telling me how it would disappoint Conan Doyle-readers but I don’t see how that could ever be possible with so many memorable characters popping up together for that one great mystery.

    As a Downey Jr. fan, I think he fit the bill perfectly. From this review I’d say that Ritchie touched more on Holmes’ occasional habit of digressing from morality (while sticking to the case at hand! If that’s not great characterisation I don’t know what is). But I’m sure that wasn’t the only interpretation of the character, especially since it’s RDJ starring in the lead – the man who played an Australian method actor playing a fiction African American character written by a deranged Nick Nolte. Good Lord. Oh yes, and then there was Tony Stark too.

    But the highlight of this review was the quote from the Tim Burton musical! I’m in love Cinematic London, and with Hans Zimmer in the score? Forget it, I’m getting the DVD tomorrow. Great job.

  2. Pingback: Solving ‘A Study in Scarlet’ for children | Pass the Popcorn

  3. Pingback: Ritchie reanimates the ‘Man from U.N.C.L.E.’ | Pass the Popcorn

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