Sherlock Holmes Movies: Cross Your Fingers ~ BitterSweetLife

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Sherlock Holmes Movies: Cross Your Fingers

Just a couple weeks ago I was talking to Lindsay about how a modern film rendition of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes was long overdue. (That either reveals what a geek I am, or how cultured I am, you make the call. ;) I mean, what have we got to work with? The Young Sherlock Holmes movie? Disney's Great Mouse Detective?

Then I stumbled across this news from The American Culture:

Two forthcoming films featuring Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's classic character Sherlock Holmes will take very different approaches to the material. Judging by the reports, each could be either very good or very bad. Jud Apatow (The Forty Year Old Virgin, Knocked Up: Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby) is producing a comedy film featuring Sacha Baron Cohen as Sherlock Holmes and Will Farrell as Dr. Watson. This obviously could be very funny if well-written, and just horrible if not...

The other forthcoming Holmes film likewise takes a somewhat unusual approach to the material.

Directed by Guy Ritchie (who made the excellent crime films Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels and Snatch), Sherlock Holmes will star Robert Downey Jr. as the great detective. Ritchie's film will emphasize a side of Holmes and the stories that has too often been forgotten: his superb physical abilities and the strong doses of action in many of the stories.

These were, after all, the Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, as author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle titled the first volume of short stories about the character.

I'm not holding my breath for the first movie. Farrell can act, as demonstrated in Stranger Than Fiction, but the presence of his usual sidekick, Cohen, isn't a good omen for the integrity of the Holmes story. Which leaves me with middling to high expectations for the second film. After Ironman, we know what Downey, Jr. brings to his hero roles: cerebral awesomeness.

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Ched said...

It will be interesting to see if the second film will be able to capture the tone and feel that make the "adventures" so good.

Maybe the first will be more than just slapstick and crude humor. Maybe.

Ariel said...

Yeah, there's definitely a "tone" or "atmosphere" to the Sherlock Holmes stories...maybe a brooding undertone? After all, at one point he's a cocaine addict and he never marries. Let's hope Downey, Jr. nails it.

Will Hicks said...

Ariel, are you implying Holmes was, uh, "playing for the other team"?

It's been a while since I've read any Sherlock Holmes, but I don't remember that.

I remember hearing about Ricky Gervais and Hugh Laurie being up for Watson in RDJr's Holmes movie. Not sure if it's been cast or not.

Ariel said...

Ha, no, absolutely not. The books give the impression that he's a loner who had the classic shot at "the great love," missed out, and never really recovered.


Culture. Photos. Life's nagging questions. - BitterSweetLife