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Sherlock Holmes
A man with smartly-styled hair and a rogueish smirk stands with his hands crossed at his waist. He is wearing an intricately-patterned waistcoat and hip-length leather trench coat. Over his shoulder looks a man with a moustache in a more traditional English suit wearing a top hat and leather gloves and holding a cane across his shoulder. The background contains a display featuring a window, obscured by the two men, surrounded by shelves containing objects including a revolver, a raven and a bottle. Above the shelves appear various visions including a gaunt-looking man in a high-collared coat, a bulldog and a woman with a seductive smile. Above the window the title "Sherlock Holmes" appears, while below the scene lies the caption "Holmes for the holiday".
Theatrical poster
Directed by Guy Ritchie
Produced by Joel Silver
Lionel Wigram
Susan Downey
Dan Lin
Written by Michael Robert Johnson
Anthony Peckham
Simon Kinberg
Lionel Wigram (Story)
Arthur Conan Doyle (Characters)
Starring Robert Downey, Jr.
Jude Law
Rachel McAdams
Mark Strong
Music by Hans Zimmer
Cinematography Philippe Rousselot
Editing by James Herbert
Studio Silver Pictures
Village Roadshow Pictures
Distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures
Release date(s) December 24, 2009 (2009-12-24)
December 25, 2009 (2009-12-25)
(United States)
02009-12-26 December 26, 2009
(United Kingdom)
(Australia)
Running time 128 minutes
Country United Kingdom
United States
Language English
Budget $90 million[1]
Gross revenue $498,472,164[2]
Followed by Sherlock Holmes 2

Sherlock Holmes is a 2009 action mystery film based on the character of the same name created by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. The film was directed by Guy Ritchie and produced by Joel Silver, Lionel Wigram, Susan Downey and Dan Lin. The screenplay by Michael Robert Johnson, Anthony Peckham and Simon Kinberg was developed from a story by Lionel Wigram and Michael Robert Johnson. Robert Downey, Jr. and Jude Law portray Sherlock Holmes and Dr. John Watson, respectively. Holmes investigates a series of murders, apparently connected to occult rituals. Lord Blackwood is the mysterious villain. The story culminates with a confrontation on top of Tower Bridge, still under construction.

The film went on general release in the United States on December 25, 2009, and on December 26, 2009, in the UK, Ireland, and the Pacific.[3]

Contents

Plot

In 1891 London, Sherlock Holmes (Robert Downey, Jr.) and Dr. John Watson (Jude Law) race to prevent the ritual murder of a girl by Lord Henry Blackwood (Mark Strong), who has killed five other people similarly. They are able to stop the murder just in time. Inspector Lestrade (Eddie Marsan) and the police arrive to make the arrest. Three months later, Blackwood is sentenced to death and requests to see Holmes, who visits him in prison. He warns Holmes of three more impending deaths that will cause great changes to the world. Blackwood is hanged and declared dead by Dr. Watson.

Holmes receives a surprise visit at 221B Baker Street from Irene Adler (Rachel McAdams), a professional thief and his former lover, who asks him to find a missing man named Reordan. After her departure, Holmes discreetly follows her as she meets with a man, her secret employer, hidden in the shadows of a carriage. The concealed man states that Reordan is the key to Blackwood's plans.

Three days later, Blackwood's tomb is destroyed from the inside out. Reordan is found dead inside Blackwood's coffin. A groundskeeper claims to have seen Blackwood walking from the tomb. Following a series of clues from the body, Holmes and Watson find Reordan's home and discover experiments attempting to merge science with magic. Later, Holmes is taken to the Temple of the Four Orders, an occult-dabbling secret society. The leaders, Sir Thomas (James Fox) and Home Secretary Lord Coward (Hans Matheson), ask Holmes to stop Blackwood, a former member of the Order. Sir Thomas and another senior member of the group are later killed through apparently magical means by Blackwood, allowing him to assume control. He plans to push for Britain to retake the United States, weakened by civil war. Lord Coward, who was in league with Blackwood all along, issues a warrant for Holmes' arrest.

When Holmes learns he is wanted by the police he goes into hiding and studies Blackwood's rituals, concluding the next target is British Parliament. Holmes tricks Lord Coward into revealing that the plan is to wipe out the House of Lords and then rejoins Adler and Watson. The three sneak into the sewers beneath Parliament and discover a machine, based on Reordan's experiments, designed to release a cyanide derivative into the Parliament chambers. They fight off Blackwood's men, and remove the cyanide containers from the machine. Adler grabs the cylinders and races away, pursued by Holmes. Blackwood and Coward realize their plan has failed. Blackwood manages to get away while Coward is captured.

The finale is on the unfinished Tower Bridge.

Holmes confronts Adler on top of the incomplete Tower Bridge but is interrupted by Blackwood. Holmes tricks him into becoming entangled in the ropes and chains, hanging over the Thames while Holmes recounts the technical trickery behind all of Blackwood's supposed magic. A loose beam falls off the rafter supports, causing Blackwood to fall and die by hanging from the chains.

Adler finally explains that her employer is Professor Moriarty, warning that Moriarty is as intelligent as Holmes but more devious. Later, the police report to Holmes and Watson that a dead officer was found near Blackwood's device. Professor Moriarty used the confrontations with Adler and Blackwood as a diversion while he took a key component from the machine. This prompts Holmes to accept the new case.


Cast

  • Robert Downey, Jr. as Sherlock Holmes. Downey was visiting Joel Silver's offices with his wife, producer Susan Downey, when he learned about the project.[4] Ritchie initially felt Downey was too old for the role because he wanted the film to show a younger Holmes on a learning curve like Batman Begins.[5] Ritchie decided to take a chance on casting him in the role, and Downey told the BBC that "I think me and Guy are well-suited to working together. The more I look into the books, the more fantastic it becomes. Holmes is such a weirdo".[6] Downey also revealed what his wife had to say: "that when you read the description of the guy  — quirky and kind of nuts — it could be a description of me".[7] Downey intends to focus more on Holmes' patriotic side and his bohemianism, and felt that his work on Chaplin has prepared him for an English accent.[8] Ritchie feels his accent is "flawless".[9] Both Downey and Ritchie are martial arts enthusiasts, and have been inspired by the Bartitsu mentioned in the 1901 story The Adventure of the Empty House.[10] Downey lost weight for the part, because during a chat he had with Chris Martin, Martin recommended that Holmes look "gaunt" and "skinny".[11][12]
  • Jude Law as Dr. John Watson, Holmes' ally, a surgeon and a war veteran. Law's Watson is more like the original character, who was more of a colleague, rather than the bumbling fool that actor Nigel Bruce popularized in the 1930s —40s films.[13] Law previously appeared in the Granada Television series The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, in an episode based on The Adventure of Shoscombe Old Place. Being a Holmes fan, Law recognized there was material unexplored in other adaptations and was intrigued by Downey's casting; Law was cast because he had a positive meeting with Downey and concurred the film would have to explore Holmes and Watson's friendship. Downey believed by emphasizing Watson's qualities as a former soldier, a doctor, a womaniser and a gambler, it would make for a more interesting foil for Holmes.[14] Law made a notebook of phrases from the stories to improvise into his dialogue.[15] Ritchie originally envisioned Russell Crowe in the role.[16]
  • Mark Strong as Lord Henry Blackwood, the main antagonist. An aristocratic serial killer dabbling in the occult to compel others to do his bidding. Strong works with director Ritchie for the third time and says he appreciates the director's lack of ego and how easy he is to work with.[17][18]
  • Rachel McAdams as Irene Adler, a femme fatale from New Jersey who outwitted Holmes twice.[13] In the film, Adler is no longer married to Godfrey Norton and needs Holmes' help for the case.[14] Downey convinced Ritchie to cast McAdams, arguing she would not look too young to be his love interest.[19]
  • Kelly Reilly as Mary Morstan. Watson wishes to settle down with her, causing a conflict with Holmes.[7]
  • Eddie Marsan as Inspector Lestrade.[20]
  • Hans Matheson as Lord Coward, the Home Secretary. Blackwood's right-hand man, who assisted Blackwood in all his murders and was the only one of his allies aware of Blackwood's usage of technology to feign magical powers.
  • Geraldine James as Mrs. Hudson, Sherlock Holmes' landlady.
  • James Fox as Sir Thomas Rotherham, father of Lord Henry Blackwood and Head of the Four Orders.
  • Robert Maillet as Dredger, a French henchman working for Blackwood.[21]

Director Guy Ritchie declined to say who voiced the character of Professor Moriarty. Rumors suggested that the part was voiced by Brad Pitt, who has been reported to have expressed strong interest in the sequel.[22] Actor Ed Tolputt is credited as "Anonymous Man"[23] although it is not clear if this refers to Moriarty.[24]

Development

A lot of the action that Conan Doyle refers to was actually made manifest in our film. Very often, Sherlock Holmes will say things like, 'If I hadn't been such an expert short stick person, I would have died in that' or he would refer to a fight off screen. We're putting those fights on screen.

Producer/co-writer Lionel Wigram[25]

Producer Lionel Wigram remarked that for around ten years, he had been thinking of new ways to depict Sherlock Holmes. "I realized the images I was seeing in my head [when reading the stories] were different to the images I'd seen in previous films." He imagined "a much more modern, more bohemian character, who dresses more like an artist or a poet", namely Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec. After leaving his position as executive for Warner Bros. in 2006,[5] Wigram sought a larger scope to the story so it could attract a large audience, and amalgamated various Holmes stories to flesh it out further.[7] Lord Blackwood's character was developed as a nod to Victorian interests in spiritualism and the later influence of Aleister Crowley. [25] The producer felt he was "almost clever" pitting Holmes, who has an almost supernatural ability to solve crimes, against a supposedly supernatural villain. Wigram wrote and John Watkiss drew a 25-page comic book about Holmes in place of a spec script.[25] Professor Moriarty's existence is hinted in the script to set up the sequels.[26]

In March 2007, Warner Bros. chose to produce, seeing similarities in the concept with Batman Begins. Arthur Conan Doyle's estate had some involvement in sorting out legal issues, although the stories are in the public domain in the United States. Neil Marshall was set to direct,[27] but Guy Ritchie signed on to direct in June 2008.[28] When a child at boarding school, Ritchie and other pupils listened to the Holmes stories through dormitory loudspeakers. "Holmes used to talk me to sleep every night when I was seven years old," he said.[29] Therefore, his image of Holmes differed from the films. He wanted to make his film more "authentic" to Doyle,[8] explaining, "There's quite a lot of intense action sequences in the stories, [and] sometimes that hasn't been reflected in the movies."[30] Holmes' "brilliance will percolate into the action", and the film will show that his "intellect was as much of a curse as it was a blessing".[9] Ritchie sought to make Sherlock Holmes a "very contemporary film as far as the tone and texture", because it has been "a relatively long time since there's been a film version that people embraced".[30]

Production

Filming began in October 2008.[31] The crew shot at Freemasons' Hall and St Paul's Cathedral.[32][26] Filming was done in Manchester's Northern Quarter, while the Town Hall was used for a fight scene (which required smashing stained glass windows).[33] They shot the opening scene for three days at St Bartholomew-the-Great church in London,[25] and shot on the river Thames at Wapping for a scene involving a steamboat on 7 November.[34] Filming continued at Stanley Dock and Clarence Dock in Liverpool.[35] Street scenes were filmed in cobbled alleyways in Chatham and Manchester. Brompton Cemetery in London was used for a key scene, and the palatial 19th-century interior of the Reform Club stood in for the Café Royal. Scenes from the interior of 221B Baker Street were shot on a sound stage at Leavesden Studios.[32]

In late November 2008, actor Robert Maillet, who played Dredger, was filming a fight scene at Chatham Dockyard in Kent, and accidentally punched Robert Downey, Jr. in the face, causing Downey to be bloodied and knocked down, but not knocked unconscious as originally reported.[21] The Sun reported that on November 28, a tank truck caught fire, forcing filming to stop for two hours.[36] When filming at St John's Street in December, the schedule had to be shortened from 13 to nine days because locals complained about how they would always have to park cars elsewhere during the shoot.[37] In January 2009, filming moved to Brooklyn.[38]

Ritchie wanted his Holmes' costume to play against the popular image of the character, joking "there is only one person in history who ever wore a deerstalker". Downey selected the character's hat, a beat-up fedora. The director kept to the tradition of making Holmes and Watson's apartment quite messy, and had it decorated with artifacts and scientific objects from the continents they would have visited.[16]

Music

Director Guy Ritchie used the soundtrack from the film The Dark Knight by Hans Zimmer as temporary music during editing. Zimmer was pleased when Ritchie asked him to do the score but told him to do something completely different. Zimmer described his score to Ritchie as the sound of the Pogues joining a Romanian orchestra.[39] For the musical accompaniment, composer Hans Zimmer used a banjo, cimbalom, squeaky violins, and a "broken pub piano". At first Zimmer had his own piano detuned, but found that it sounded out of tune. He asked his assistant to locate a broken piano. The first piano they located was passed over as it obviously had been cared for, but the second one was the one they used in the production. Zimmer said "We rented 20th Century Fox’s underground car park one Sunday and did hideous things to a piano."[40][39]

Tracklist[41]

All music composed by Hans Zimmer.

Track Title Length
1. "Discombobulate"   2:25
2. "Is It Poison, Nanny?"   2:53
3. "I Never Woke Up In Handcuffs Before"   1:44
4. "My Mind Rebels At Stagnation"   4:31
5. "Data, Data, Data"   2:15
6. "He's Killed The Dog Again"   3:15
7. "Marital Sabotage"   3:44
8. "Not In Blood, But In Bond"   2:13
9. "Ah, Putrefaction"   1:50
10. "Panic, Sheer Bloody Panic"   2:38
11. "Psychological Recovery... 6 Months"   18:18
12. "Catatonic"   6:45

Release

The film had its world premiere on December 14, 2009, in London and was subsequently released worldwide on December 25, 2009 (December 26 in the UK and Ireland), after being pushed from a November release date.[3] An advance charity screening was held in select locations in Belgium on December 10, 2009. [42]

The film opened to an estimated $62.4 million in its first weekend, placing in second at the US box office to Avatar, which grossed $75.6 million. The film earned a strong per-theater average of $18,031 from its 3,626 theaters. Its one-day Christmas sales broke records. As of December 25, 2009, Sherlock Holmes had grossed $65,380,000 worldwide making it Guy Ritchie's biggest box-office success yet, [43][44] and the 9th highest grossing film of 2009.

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Critical response

The film has received generally positive reviews from film critics; review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes reports that 68% of 192 critics have given the film a positive review, with a rating average of 6.1 out of 10.[45] Among Rotten Tomatoes' "Top Critics", which consists of popular and notable critics from the top newspapers, websites, television and radio programs, the film holds an overall approval rating of 53%, based on a sample of 34 reviews. The site's general consensus is that "Guy Ritchie's directorial style might not be quite the best fit for an update on the legendary detective, but Sherlock Holmes benefits from the elementary appeal of a strong performance by Robert Downey, Jr."[46] Metacritic, which assigns a weighted average score out of 1–100 reviews from film critics, has a rating score of 57 based on 34 reviews.[47]

Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times gave the film three out of four stars and highlighted the film's strong characters, visuals and action-packed plot;[48] the characters were also praised by Jake Tomlinson of Shave Magazine, who believed that Downey Jr. and Law were "perfect together" and that Strong was "a convincing and creepy villain".[49]

A. O. Scott of the New York Times was more reserved: he noted that the director's approach to films was "to make cool movies about cool guys with cool stuff" and that Sherlock Holmes was essentially "a series of poses and stunts" which was "intermittently diverting" at best.[50]

David Stratton was scathing, describing as "a travesty of Conan Doyle and a reprehensible rip-off of one of fiction's great characters". He considered the plot "not Sherlock Holmes territory at all", and though conceding that the film was entertaining said that it had "ridden roughshod over one of literature's greatest creations in the process".[51]

On January 17, 2010, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association announced the winners of the 67th Golden Globe Awards with Robert Downey, Jr. winning Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy for the portrayal of Sherlock Holmes.[52] In addition, the Broadcast Film Critics Association nominated Hans Zimmer for Best Score but lost to Up by Michael Giacchino.[53] The film was nominated for Best Original Score and Best Art Direction at the 82nd Academy Awards.

Sequels

When Guy Ritchie finished the movie, he discussed a sequel with the production team. Robert Downey, Jr., Jude Law and the other cast members also signed up to a possible sequel. Ritchie has started to write the story and pre-production is set to begin on March 21, 2010.[54]

Home media

Sherlock Holmes is due to be released on DVD and Blu-ray/DVD/digital copy combo pack on March 30, 2010 in the United States.[55]

Allusions to other works

Although Sherlock Holmes takes a number of liberties with the original Holmes stories, it also contains numerous references and allusions to the earlier works. The film quotes the Conan Doyle novels and stories on several occasions, including: "The game is afoot" ("The Abbey Grange," as well as the original source of the phrase, Shakespeare's Henry V); "Because I was looking for it" ("Silver Blaze"); "You have a grand gift for silence, Watson. It makes you quite invaluable as a companion" ("The Man With the Twisted Lip"); "Crime is common, logic is rare" ("The Copper Beeches"); "My mind rebels at stagnation. Give me problems. Give me work" (The Sign of the Four); "It makes a considerable differerence to me, having someone with me on whom I can thoroughly rely" ("The Boscombe Valley Mystery"); and "Data, data, data—I cannot make bricks without clay" ("The Copper Beeches").

The scene in which Holmes and Watson make a series of deductions from a dead man's watch closely mirrors a similar sequence in The Sign of the Four, in which Holmes uses nearly identical observations (scratches around the watch's keyhole, pawnbroker's marks on the inside of the case) to deduce information from a watch belonging to Watson's late brother. Holmes's passing reference to locking Watson's chequebook in his desk parallels a similar statement in "The Dancing Men," which commentators such as William S. Baring-Gould have taken to mean that Watson had a gambling problem, an interpretation that the film also supports.[56]

Among other references to the earlier stories, Holmes retains the portrait of Irene Adler acquired for his services in "A Scandal in Bohemia." The "V.R." design that Holmes shoots into the wall at Baker Street is mentioned in "The Musgrave Ritual," in which Watson reports that Holmes used a pistol to adorn the wall "with a patriotic V.R. [for Victoria Regina] done in bullet-pocks."[57] The bulldog that appears throughout the movie is first referenced in A Study in Scarlet, in which Watson says "I keep a bull pup." The dog's name, Gladstone, is taken from an episode of The New Adventures of Sherlock Holmes. Although the dog is never mentioned again in the original stories, its treatment in the film recalls the speculations of commentators (as summarized by Baring-Gould) that "the pup was a victim of one of Holmes's chemical experiments...[or] the dog, unable to stand the Baker Street menage, deserted."[58]

A number of the film's details recall "The Adventure of the Mazarin Stone." The first is the name of the primary antagonist, Lord Blackwood, which parallels that of "Mazarin Stone" villain Count Negretto Sylvius (Negretto is Italian for black and Sylvius is Latin for woods). (As Holmes scholar W. W. Roberts notes, this is "presumably a private joke at the expense of Blackwood's Magazine, long and unavailingly courted by [Conan Doyle] in the 1880s."[59]) Another common detail is the Crown Diamond, an alternate name for the Mazarin Stone, which hangs around Irene Adler's neck in the film. "The Mazarin Stone" is also the first story to mention that the 221B Baker Street apartment had multiple exits and a waiting room. The extra exit, which was through the bedroom, is employed by Holmes to follow Irene early in the film.

The scene where Baker Street is first shown is a direct parallel of the opening credits of The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes.

At the end of the film, Adler says to Holmes, "A storm is coming", foreshadowing the planned sequel. This line is similar to His Last Bow's "There's an east wind coming, Watson", said by Holmes at the end, subsequently described as a storm, foreshadowing World War I,[60] and used almost verbatim at the end of Basil Rathbone's Sherlock Holmes and the Voice of Terror.[61]

References

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  23. ^ Actor [Ed Tolputt]
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  33. ^ Bourke, Kevin (October 28, 2008). "Diary: Guy about town". Manchester Evening News (Guardian Media Group). Archived from the original on 2010-01-30. http://www.webcitation.org/query?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.manchestereveningnews.co.uk%2Fnews%2Fshowbiz%2Fs%2F1076412_diary_guy_about_town+&date=2010-01-30. Retrieved 2010-01-30. 
  34. ^ Huntley, Victoria (November 14, 2008). "Sherlock Holmes in latest mystery boat chase on Thames". East London Advertiser (Archant). http://www.eastlondonadvertiser.co.uk/content/towerhamlets/advertiser/news/story.aspx?brand=ELAOnline&category=news&tBrand=northlondon24&tCategory=newsela&itemid=WeED14%20Nov%202008%2022%3A01%3A13%3A447. Retrieved 2010-01-31. 
  35. ^ Owens, Paula (November 21, 2008). "Sherlock Holmes is back with stars Jude Law and Robert Downey Jr". Liverpool Daily Post (Trinity Mirror). http://www.liverpooldailypost.co.uk/liverpool-news/regional-news/2008/11/21/sherlock-holmes-is-back-with-stars-jude-law-and-robert-downey-jr-64375-22307808/. Retrieved 2010-01-31. 
  36. ^ White, Richard (November 29, 2008). "The Strange Case of Mr Ritchie and the Cursed Movie". The Sun (News International). http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/showbiz/bizarre/article1985527.ece. Retrieved 2010-01-31. 
  37. ^ "Sherlock Holmes almost foiled in film parking row". Islington Gazette (Archant). December 3, 2008. http://www.islingtongazette.co.uk/content/islington/gazette/news/story.aspx?brand=ISLGOnline&category=news&tBrand=northlondon24&tCategory=newsislg&itemid=WeED03%20Dec%202008%2009%3A40%3A25%3A560. Retrieved 2008-12-05. 
  38. ^ Wieselman, Jarett (January 9, 2009). "Rachel McAdams, From Canada In My Holmes". New York Post (News Corporation). Archived from the original on 2010-01-31. http://www.webcitation.org/query?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.nypost.com%2Fp%2Fblogs%2Fpopwrap%2Fitem_yULDwQg7ZVxOLlZmDTxeoO%3Bjsessionid%3DC3799934DA4CF9E9820F6AD7B9B5EF7C&date=2010-01-31. Retrieved 2010-01-31. 
  39. ^ a b Martens, Todd (December 24, 2009). "Hans Zimmer on his ‘Sherlock Holmes’ score: ‘Real life takes place in pubs'". Los Angeles Times (Tribune Company). Archived from the original on 2010-01-31. http://www.webcitation.org/query?url=http%3A%2F%2Flatimesblogs.latimes.com%2Fmusic_blog%2F2009%2F12%2Fhans-zimmer-on-his-sherlock-holmes-score-real-life-takes-place-in-pubs.html&date=2010-01-31. Retrieved 2010-01-31. 
  40. ^ Vaughan, Owen (December 23, 2009). "Hans Zimmer: 'The sound of Sherlock Holmes? It’s a broken piano'". The Times. News International. http://entertainment.timesonline.co.uk/tol/arts_and_entertainment/film/article6966531.ece. Retrieved 2010-01-31. "Actually the broken piano became a bigger thing because then I thought, rather than use big drums what would a piano sound like if you dropped it down a flight of stairs?" 
  41. ^ "Sherlock Holmes soundtrack Hans Zimmer (2009)". Hans-Zimmer.com. January 12, 2010. http://www.amazon.com/Sherlock-Holmes-Original-Picture-Soundtrack/dp/B002ZMZBD2/. Retrieved 2010-01-31. 
  42. ^ "Movie For Life" (in Dutch). Studio Brussel. December 2, 2009. http://www.stubru.be/programmas/musicforlife/movieforlife. Retrieved 2010-01-31. 
  43. ^ Smith, Grady (December 27, 2009.). "Avatar, Sherlock Lead The Largest Weekend In Film History! Top 12 Earned $275 Million!". The Box Office Junkie. http://blog.theboxofficejunkie.com/2009/12/weekend-fix-avatar-and-sherlock-lead.html. Retrieved 2010-01-31. "The Top 12 grossed an astonishing $264 million over the weekend frame- the largest weekend in film history" 
  44. ^ "December 25-27, 2009 – Weekend Studio Estimates". Box Office Mojo. IMDb. http://boxofficemojo.com/weekend/chart/?yr=2009&wknd=52&p=.htm. Retrieved 2010-01-31. 
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  48. ^ Ebert, Roger (December 23, 2009). "Sherlock Holmes Review". Chicago Sun-Times. http://rogerebert.suntimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20091223/REVIEWS/912239991. Retrieved 2010-01-31.  3/4 stars
  49. ^ Tomlinson, Jake. "Movie Review: Sherlock Holmes". Shave Magazine. http://www.shavemagazine.com/entertainment/reviews/091203. Retrieved 2010-01-31.  4/5 stars
  50. ^ A. O. Scott (December 25, 2009). "The Brawling Supersleuth of 221B Baker Street Socks It to 'Em". The New York Times (The New York Times Company). http://movies.nytimes.com/2009/12/25/movies/25sherlock.html. Retrieved 2010-01-31. 
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  52. ^ HFPA (December 15, 2009). "HFPA — Nominations and Winners". http://www.goldenglobes.org/nominations/. Retrieved 2010-01-31. 
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External links


Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes
File:Sherlock holmes by asylum film
Directed by Rachel Lee Goldenberg
Produced by
Screenplay by Paul Bales
Story by
Narrated by David Shackleton
Starring
Cinematography Adam Silver
Editing by Rachel Lee Goldenberg
Distributed by
Release date(s) January 26, 2010 (2010-01-26)
Running time 90 minutes
Country
  • United States
  • United Kingdom
Language English

Sherlock Holmes (alternatively known in the United Kingdom as Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes) is a 2010 direct-to-DVD detective film produced by The Asylum, directed by Rachel Lee Goldrenberg. The film is a mockbuster intended to capitalise upon the 2009 film of the same name directed by Guy Ritchie, and is the second film by The Asylum to be inspired by the writings of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. The film was shot in Wales on a low budget.[1]

The film details the "chronicle of [Holmes's] greatest accomplishment" in which famous detective Sherlock Holmes (Ben Syder, making his film debut) and his companion Dr. Watson (Gareth David Lloyd) investigate a string of unusual "monster" attacks before stumbling on Spring-Heeled Jack's plot to destroy London with the aid of his robotic dinosaurs. The film has recently been shown on the Syfy channel in the United Kingdom.

Contents

Plot

The film begins during the Blitz in London in 1940 (World War Two). An elderly and very unwell Dr. John Watson (David Shackleton) states that these German air raids are not the first time he has seen London burn. He begins to tell his nurse the tale of his most complex adventure with Sherlock Holmes (Ben Syder), which he and Holmes vowed never to tell the public.

In 1882, a Royal Navy ship carrying gold sits silently on the English coast before it is destroyed by a gigantic octopus. Sherlock Holmes and his companion Dr. Watson (Gareth David Lloyd) are present at Watson's autopsy of a man, who the tobacco-addicted Holmes identifies as a fishmonger using his extraordinary observational skills. They are called to investigate the monster attack by Lestrade (William Huw), who tells Holmes he has recently contacted his brother, Thorpe (Dominic Keating). The only survivor of the monster attack, recovering in hospital, is thought to be insane; he describes great arms reaching out of the sea and dragging the ship to its destruction. Holmes, Watson and Lestrade travel to a cliff on the coast where the remains of the ship have washed up. Watson dangerously abseils down the cliff to find that the money in the ship was somehow stolen. In Whitechapel in the suburbs of London, a young man trying to get service from a prostitute is killed by a small Tyrannosaurus Rex.

When Holmes and Watson hear of the monsters, Watson dismisses the reports as "preposterous," believing it to be superstition. On a walk in the woods, Holmes and Watson begin to make conclusions, before the dinosaur appears and chases them. They escape and take shelter in a small workhouse where they encounter Lestrade who is investigating the dinosaur case. They agree to keep the dinosaur secret from Lestrade. In the house, a water pump providing water to a local fountain has been stolen, presumably by the dinosaur. In a T-Rex footprint, Holmes finds a burnt piece of rubber, which proves the dinosaur is artificial. Meanwhile, at home, Watson begins to fall in love with Miss Ivory, the niece of one of Watson's current patients, who curiously asks for some very strong medications.

Holmes and Watson track their suspect to a copper factory, only for Holmes to end up painfully injured by a falling chandelier. During the night, Watson treats the wounds, and in the morning they visit a factory, stalked by Lestrade, where tons of rubber has been given to an unknown buyer, presumably to build the dinosaur's skin. They convince the owner to give them answers when Holmes uses his talents to work out that illegal immigrants are working there. The dinosaur mutilates the warehouse owner and Lestrade goes missing while the warehouse is ultimately destroyed by fire. Holmes tracks down the dinosaur with a piece of stone buried in the man's remains, which Holmes identifies as coming from a small castle he and his brother often visited as children. There, they find that the octopus and dinosaur are synthetic robots, and they are attacked by "Spring-Heeled Jack," a mechanical genius wearing a copper, steam-powered cybernetic armour. He takes his mask off to reveal that he is Thorpe Holmes, Sherlock's brother, and Miss Ivory's "uncle" whom Watson was treating.

Thorpe reveals that he has created this very advanced technology in a chain of crimes; he created the octopus to steal money from the Naval ship, and he spent the money on building the T-Rex which would steal the copper wire and the water pump, which he then used, combined with his medical knowledge, to create his suit. The suit keeps him alive from a bullet wound in his spine, which he believes his police partner Lestrade gave to him on their final case together. He also reveals that Sherlock's full name is Robert Sherlock Holmes. Thorpe wants revenge on the whole of Britain and intends to destroy London. He would then force Lestrade to take the blame. Holmes tries to attack Thorpe, only to be shot and presumably killed by Miss Ivory.

Miss Ivory is revealed to also be one of Thorpe's robotic creations (and his lover), and Thorpe builds a bomb into her clockwork workings which will detonate when she reaches Buckingham Palace, home of Queen Victoria. As Spring-Heeled Jack, he intends to destroy the rest of London in his latest creation, a gigantic, fire-spitting mechanical dragon in which he pilots and keeps Lestrade prisoner. Holmes rescues Watson from imprisonment; the bullet Miss Ivory fired at him was stopped by the tobacco box in his pocket, to which he thinks is ironic because Thorpe said his tobacco addiction would be the death of him, as it was to their father. Watson is sent to stop Miss Ivory from assassinating the Queen, while Holmes pilots another one of Thorpe's inventions, a hot-air balloon driven by helicopter propellers and armed with the world's first machine guns, in an attempt to stop his brother.

Spring-Heeled Jack sets fire to Westminster Abbey and the Houses of Parliament with his dragon, while Holmes battles him. Watson manages to deactivate Miss Ivory a fraction of a second before she can blow up Buckingham Palace. Holmes and his brother crash-land in the garden of Buckingham Palace. Mortally wounded, Thorpe tries to shoot Watson, before he is shot and killed by Holmes, who survived the crash by the use of a parachute. Holmes reveals to Lestrade that he wasn't the one who shot Thorpe in the spine; the bullet came from a smaller gun belonging to the bank robbers Thorpe and Lestrade were battling at the time. Lestrade takes all the credit for saving the Queen, while Holmes and Watson vow never to speak of the events again, because of how it personally affected Holmes, and because he thinks that the world isn't ready. Holmes tells Watson that his birth name is Robert Sherlock Holmes, and he removed his first name because there is already a detective of the name Robert Holmes.

Back in 1940, Watson's nurse asks him if any of the tale is true, before Watson dies peacefully. She visits Watson and Sherlock Holmes's gravestones some time later, as the only person to ever know of their complex accomplishment, and turns to see Miss Ivory, having not changed a bit since 1882, visiting the grave of Thorpe Holmes.

Cast

  • Ben Syder as Sherlock Holmes: Main protagonist. A consulting detective with the extraordinary ability to make wide observations from even the smallest of observations. This version of Holmes is considerably younger than most versions of the character, and leaves most of his negative attributes absent.
  • Gareth David-Lloyd as Dr. John Watson: Holmes's companion and a veteran of the Second Afghan war. He worked as an army surgeon and now works as a home doctor, a pathologist and a detective alongside Holmes. David-Lloyd is perhaps the most well-known actor appearing in Sherlock Holmes, having gained large popularity for his appearance in the Doctor Who spinoff Torchwood.
  • Dominic Keating as Thorpe Holmes / Spring Heeled Jack: The film's main antagonist. He is the brother of Sherlock Holmes and a former policeman who was presumably shot by a bank-robber, but he believes he was shot by his partner Lestrade. He builds four robotic creatures, a T-Rex, a giant octopus, a dragon and Anesidora Ivory, and wears a powerful cybernetic armour which gives him increased strength. He has an evil scheme to destroy London.
  • William Huw as Lestrade: An inspector who has worked with Holmes and Watson on numerous occasions.
  • Elizabeth Arends as Anesidora Ivory
  • David Shackleton as Old Dr. Watson
  • Rachael Evelyn as Miss Lucy Hudson
  • Neil Williams as Phineas Stiles
  • Dylan Jones as Grolton
  • Chris Coxon as John Poole
  • Katie Thomas as Sally Fassbinder
  • Iago Patrick McGuire as Lees
  • Catriona McDonald as Mrs. Hudson

Reception

Sherlock Holmes was met with skepticism immediately upon the announcement of its pending release. The horror film website Dread Central criticized the plot synopsis, which indicated Sherlock Holmes would be facing "enormous monsters" attacking London. Their reviewer said: "Sherlock Holmes, monster slayer. Who wants another snooty Sherlock Holmes mystery when you can have him and Dr. Watson make like Buffy and Angel? Maybe they can take it a step further and have Holmes' cocaine habit affect him in much the same way as Popeye's spinach."[2]

Early reviews of the film were quite positive, however. Steve Anderson of Screen Head noted that "Many of The Asylum's earlier efforts have proven somewhat, well, unpleasant, but this time around we've actually got something downright entertaining," even going so far as to say that "this might be one of The Asylum's better movies". He praised that the film was a sensibly organised Sherlock Holmes film, differing itself from the cover art which "promised sheer lunacy".[3]

See also

Film portal

References

External links


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