Elementary

December 27, 2009

Saw this on Boxing Day. (That’s the 26th… just to be sure.) It was enjoyable.

Here, the barest of plot outlines: Lord Blackwood is a noble who’s apparently involved in some paranormal activity– also, he’s been killing people. Holmes and Watson catch him, and he is executed. Complication: he then raises from the dead, which is super creepy. Blackwood has a plan to take over England and control the world through the magic he has at his disposal. Holmes and Watson must solve the riddles before he kills everyone in Parliament.
Sub-Plot: Watson is getting married. Tension! Holmes and Watson are pretty much hetero-man-married, so Holmes doesn’t take kindly to a woman infringing upon his turf and domesticating Watson.

As far as I’m concerned, the plot’s only purpose here is to not get in the way, and set up a few genius “Wow, only Sherlock Holmes could have figured that out” moments. It mostly does that well, although I could have done with more of those genius moments. The real pleasure here lies in watching Robert Downey, Jr. and Jude Law play Holmes and Watson. Rachel McAdams is also very good as Irene Adler. Downey, in particular, is very fun to watch. He seems to have grasped this latest chance he’s been given by Hollywood and is definitely making the most of it. Sometimes Jude Law looks like he’s sleepwalking on screen, but his Watson is a suitably intense, humorous sidekick.

This isn’t going to change your life, but it is a few hours that you won’t regret. Have fun.

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6 Responses to “Elementary”

  1. Jessie said

    I really want to see this, but question:

    Does the magic end up being real, or does Holmes figure out that something else is actually going on? Because I’m not quite sure how to deal with that. If it’s supposed to be believable, is it at least done well?

    Please tell me.

  2. christophermahlon said

    For other people’s benefit I left that reveal out of the post. However, since this is the comments section, I will say that it has a perfectly rational explanation. It’s actually pretty clever, if a little too dramatically overblown on the villain’s part. And a few of the lines are… clunky, but seriously, it’s a good film.

    • Jessie said

      sigh. okay. i’ll see for myself. it’s just….. the stories usually have some legend or curse that supposedly has no explanation, but then holmes walks in and finds the logic. like the scooby-doo gang but for grown-ups. so i’d be very disappointed i think if it was actually some supernatural crap.

  3. Bottlerocket said

    I saw this yesterday too, and I also enjoyed it. It did seem a little uneven, but the parts that really clicked well made up for the parts that were a little clunky. My favorite lines were when Irene Adler talked about how Moriarty was an evil genius- my sister asked me why I was laughing during that part.

    • christophermahlon said

      As in those parts being incredibly clunky?

      Unfortunately for Rachel McAdams, her character is very poorly written; at least that’s what I thought. The worst lines in the movie go to her, and I felt bad for her.

  4. Katie said

    Um, yeah, agreed about Rachel/Irene…that aspect could have been a lot better. But that didn’t ruin my enjoyment of the movie at all.

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