I finally watched the Robert Downey Jr.-led Sherlock films, and I need to see more.
I’m all over the place when it comes to movie genres. Some think of me as a horror movie lover; others know me as the person who will recommend the best fantasy movies out there, but deep down, I love a good mystery.
However, I don’t want the ones that are so easy to follow. I love the whodunnits where it feels like you’re constantly learning new things, and you always need to figure out who’s right or wrong, that kind of mystery – the stuff that comes from the franchise of Sherlock Holmes, the series of books that Sir Arthur Conan Doyle authored.
I enjoyed reading them when I was younger, so when there were adaptations that became popular, I was always a huge fan. I’ve seen some older movies featuring the detective, and I also loved the adaptation that starred Benedict Cumberbatch (who is actually related to the real author of the series) and Martin Freeman, titled Sherlock. However, I realized a few weeks ago that I had never seen the movies starring Robert Downey Jr. – Sherlock Holmes and Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows, directed by Guy Ritchie.
So now, I decided to watch both – and boy, do I have thoughts. Let’s get into it.
Robert Downey Jr. Needs To Play Sherlock Again
While researching these movies, I didn’t realize that the first Sherlock film came out the year after Iron Man. While I’m sure audiences older than me knew who Robert Downey Jr. was before that role, many people my age only discovered him from that superhero movie.
For a long time, I always associated Downey Jr. with the role of Tony Stark because that’s just how I was raised with him. And while I know he won’t be reprising the superhero anytime in the foreseeable future, it’s still one of his best, among many of Downey’s best movies and roles. However, I must admit that I really love him as Sherlock and would love to see him as the detective again.
Sherlock himself is such an interesting character. He’s so unbelievably bright and can detect anything and solve most mysteries. Still, he also has this confident attitude that makes him almost too secure sometimes, and when someone pulls something over him, it’s usually a big deal – which is why Moriarty is such a great foil.
And then there’s Downey’s version of Sherlock Holmes. Not only does he bring that confidence you would expect from Sherlock, but he’s able to bring a different personality to the iconic character that fits him so well.
Jude Law Perfectly Captures Watson
I never thought Jude Law would be a good Watson. I’ve seen him in so many of his great movies, like Road to Perdition, A.I. Artificial Intelligence, Hugo, and more. I loved him especially in the Wes Anderson movie The Grand Budapest Hotel, which I just watched again as part of my Wes Anderson movie marathon.
When I found out he was playing Sherlock’s partner, I didn’t know if he would fit in that role, but truthfully, he made me like Watson.
I’m not a massive fan of the character because he can aid Sherlock in specific ways but hinder him in others. Law’s portrayal of him, however, was intelligent and funny, and he made me like Watson a lot more than I thought while still keeping the character’s true nature. Only that can be done by an excellent actor.
And On Another Note, Jared Harris As Moriarty Is The Absolute Best
This is another case where Moriarty is a complex villain to crack. As one of the most iconic villains of the movie and T.V. world, Moriarty is both a genius and crazy. So, finding the perfect actor to nail that is hard.
Jared Harris was a great pick. Truthfully, I had just found out who Jared Harris was before watching Sherlock: A Game of Shadows, because it’s hard to keep track of every actor under the sun. However, he embraced Moriarty’s role, and he made me wish I got to see way more of him.
I Will Say – Rachel McAdams Could Have Been Used More
If I had one critique about these films, Rachel McAdams, who played Irene Adler, was severely underused. McAdams is known for so many incredible movies that she’s starred in, from Mean Girls to The Notebook to About Time and so many others, and when I found out she was in this, I was excited.
I was even more eager to view these films when I saw how much of the trailer she was in – but she felt like an afterthought while watching both movies. Her character wasn’t as big as I believed she would be. She is a phenomenal actor, but her role in this didn’t do it for me.
The Chemistry Between Every Actor Is Flawless
This was one of the main reasons I want to see a third film – the chemistry between every actor is so good. I can’t tell you how often I laughed because the line delivery was on point, and every performer could bounce off the other.
I could make a whole list of moments between Sherlock and Watson that were some of the best in these films, and it would never be enough. The chemistry is bubbling here, my friends. I would say their partnership in this is equal to that of Cumberbatch and Freeman’s in BBC’s Sherlock.
I’m Glad The Movies Keep Sherlock In The Past Rather Than The Present
I know that Sherlock is primarily known for being in the past, as the books are obviously from older times – and I’m thrilled they decided to keep these films within that timeframe rather than the present.
There are a lot of modern-day interpretations of Sherlock Holmes. While they are fun and exciting, I like when we are sent back to the past for the typical retelling of Sherlock. Plus, watching these characters find ways to solve crimes without modern-day technology is so entertaining.
While They Don’t Follow The Books, Both Movies Are So Fun
While this duo of films doesn’t follow any story from the Doyle novels, they certainly keep the spirit of Sherlock alive. Not only do these movies have exciting mysteries, but they have energetic stories too that will have you pulling out a sleuthing hat and writing down every clue possible.
I wish more elements from the novels appeared in the films, but we’ll get into that later.
Also, The Fight Scenes Were Energetic And Well-Choreographed And Somehow Fit With The Movies
These are mystery movies, mind you. I was not expecting to see full-on action scenes here, but wow, they were so much fun! The fights were well-choreographed and fit with the movie in a way I didn’t expect them to, and it made the mysteries that we followed that much more interesting and chaotic at the same time.
That fight where Sherlock is boxing, or even when they are fighting on the Tower Bridge, was so enthralling. There was also some great cinematography and choreography there, creating perfect and wildly fun action sequences.
And The Music Was So Much Fun And Added To The Scenes In Such A Positive Way
Hans Zimmer never misses. He consistently produces the best freaking music, and he did that for both Sherlock Holmes and Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows.
The composer has certainly written some incredible scores in the past, but there’s just something about how he emulated Sherlock’s fun chaotic energy into the score of Sherlock Holmes that adds to the movie and makes it better.
Seriously, I Need A Third Film
Both of these movies, while based on the characters of Sherlock Holmes, have original premises. They aren’t based on one specific story from Doyle, although they follow some elements in Sherlock: A Game of Shadows. They’re funny and exciting, don’t get me wrong, but there’s so much more story that could be told.
If there’s a third film, I’d want it to adapt more from the novels. They can still make an original premise, just as they did with the first two, but incorporate more plot points from the books – and they would be even more enjoyable. And I want all that with Robert Downey Jr. again, because he was everything.
These movies won me over, and I truly hope a third film is released that continues this story. There is one in development, and apparently, it is “a priority” for Robert Downey Jr. to make another installment, but only time will tell if that comes to our theaters. For now, I’ll re-watch these.