Sherlock Holmes
2009
**
Director: Guy Ritchie
Cast: Robert Downey Jr., Jude Law, Mark Strong, Rachel McAdams, Kelly Reilly, Eddie Marsan, Hans Matheson, James Fox

Arthur Conan Doyle’s highly perceptive detective gets a 21st century reboot as an action hero. The Sherlock Holmes here is incredibly smug and a little bit insane, and not only can he outwit the villains, he can also kick their ass. Just when his partnership with Dr. Watson is about to come to an end, their old nemesis Lord Blackwood comes back from the dead. Guy Ritchie has the stage set for an entertaining romp with a fresh twist, but he delivers a conventional and instantly forgettable modern day blockbuster. The duo bicker their way through the set pieces but their dialogue has no bite, and the convoluted central mystery is solved only in Holmes’ head and then condescendingly explained to the audience. The film uses CGI to great effect (the grimy 19th century London), and not-so-great effect (explosions which don’t cause any bodily harm). Downey puts all his energy in getting the accent right, he doesn’t, which makes his machine gun mumbling barely intelligible. Followed by Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows in 2011.