‘Sherlock Holmes’ full of action, devoid of mystery

By Larissa Gula

“Sherlock Holmes”

Starring: Robert Downey Jr., Jude Law, Rachel McAdams

Director: Guy… “Sherlock Holmes”

Starring: Robert Downey Jr., Jude Law, Rachel McAdams

Director: Guy Ritchie

Studio: Warner Bros. Pictures

Grade: C+

Fans of the mystery and crime genres all know part of the fun of diving into a new tale is picking up onthe clues along with the main character, or maybe beating him to it.

The film “Sherlock Holmes” must have missed this memo. Despite being based heavily on the Sir Arthur Conan Doyle stories, following the famous fictional character of the same name, the film instead took the path away from mystery and focused more on the action.

The fictional face of Sherlock Holmes has been in the brains of fans since Doyle conjured him up more than 100 years ago. Holmes is a renowned character in fiction, with incredible deductive reasoning skills accompanied by a talent for acute observation and an eccentric personality.

At least the film got this right, with actor Robert Downey Jr. taking on the complex and sometimes flat-out ridiculous character of Holmes. At his side is Jude Law as Dr. John Watson.

On screen the two old partners must work together on what is to be their last case as a team. It involves suspected black magic and a dangerous, terrifying force which rises from the the deathof a corrup lord intent on bringing about the subjugation of England, America and eventually the entire world.

The film portrays the incredible crime fighters as needing to use their fists and brains to fight their new enemies. At the same time both characters are supposed to be dealing with personal issues, such as Watson’s retirement. In addition to all that, both must deal with matters of love and lust.

It was a bold move, but it didn’t pay off.

Instead of allowing a strong plot baseline and character development, “Sherlock Holmes” carries on through the mystery swiftly and chaotically, with a strong score that pounds on the eardrums and explosions and deaths that are supposed to show off the power and danger the detectives are facing.

The mystery element of “Sherlock Holmes” is, in fact, almost completely lost among the chaos.

The settings and sets are more complete than the characters at times, with costumes and building designs setting the mood and scene perfectly.

By the end of the film, it’s revealed that Holmes himself had been mentally working through the case the entire time, but had in fact picked up most of his clues so early in the film that any audience member who may have wanted to solve the mystery themselves could hardly have done so in the short time span spent on the scene holding the key to the mystery.

Of course, the ending is predictable at best. The set-up for the villain, including his motive and crime, is mediocre. The mystery itself was hardly the most complicated of Holmes’ career and is supposedly connected to a larger crime, therefore setting the stage for a sequel, or perhaps an entire franchise.

Most offensive of all, the ending is an ending that should have been a beginning. The film literally stops as Holmes begins to suggest a larger plot than what he and Watson dealt with for more than two hours previously on the screen.

This new take on the character of Sherlock Holmes needs more work. Perhaps any sequel will be able to pick up the slack.