FILM FANS: Film Fans: 'Holmes' differs too much from original characters

Special Photo
 Jude Law, left, plays Dr. John Watson and Robert Downey Jr. plays title character Sherlock Holmes in Guy Ritchie’s “Sherlock Holmes.” 

Special Photo Jude Law, left, plays Dr. John Watson and Robert Downey Jr. plays title character Sherlock Holmes in Guy Ritchie’s “Sherlock Holmes.” 

EDITOR'S NOTE — Film Fans features local residents reviewing the film of the week: "Sherlock Holmes." Want to be a Film Fan? E-mail features@gwinnettdailypost.com.

2 out of 4 stars

Apparently, the writers and producers of this movie weren't happy with the original characters created by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, and decided to transform them into a not-so-modern-day cross between the wise-cracking characters from the "Lethal Weapon" series, and the action antics of Jackie Chan and Jet Li.

Sherlock Holmes, played by Robert Downey Jr., is a recluse odd-ball with amazing powers of deduction, and more ongoing experiments than the CDC. He supplements his income gambling and participating in underground UFC-style bare-knuckle fights. Jude Law plays Dr. Watson, Sherlock's somewhat level-headed companion, who tries to get Holmes moving in a more positive direction, but remains faithful and follows him through his escapades.

The action and fight scenes are fun to watch, but the only similarity these characters have to the original Holmes and Watson is their accents. Holmes does encounter Moriarty toward the end of the movie, with a clumsy lead-in to an obviously preplanned sequel.

The actors are likable enough, but if you're a fan of the originally franchise, don't expect to see anything familiar here.

— Steve Kalberg, Lawrenceville

1 out of 4 stars

Notwithstanding the impressive star draw, this movie lacks the critical screenplay to sustain itself and lapses hopelessly into oblivion. But the movie has merits in other regards, including the strong chemistry with Sherlock (Robert Downey Jr.) and Watson (Jude Law), the raw beauty of Rachel McAdams and some great sets and scenery. Beyond the peripheral the movie is devoid of any real entertainment value.

The story evolves around Sherlock's prowess as a detective and all-around brain guy. His sidekick is Watson, the doctor, who brings little that is special.

But the great challenge centers around Lord Blackwood, the radical, mystic, cult-nerd, who is whacking people because he can. But as predictable as rain, Sherlock solves it — I was quite shocked! Don't be taken by this ruse, which is at best, Netflix rental fare.

—Rick Wright, Auburn

3 out of 4 stars

I'll bet Sir Arthur Conan Doyle never pictured his master sleuth as a scruffy, unkept, karate-chopping action hero. But in director Guy Ritchie's 21st century version of "Sherlock Holmes," that is precisely what you get.

Robert Downey Jr. cleverly portrays the wickedly smart Holmes, who has a penchant for dangerous women and bare-fisted boxing.

And while this is a departure from the original character, it's hard not to be sucked in by him and the equally tenacious Dr. Watson (Jude Law). Together, their banter, wit and delivery make this uncharacteristic action movie a must see.

— Lindsey Rice,