Anyone else think Sherlock Holmes will be bad?

I saw an extended trailer for the upcoming Sherlock Holmes yesterday and I’ve got a bad feeling.

They’re apparently going for an action thriller/buddy film - there were scenes of Holmes and Watson trading wisecracks and punching each other. Not the cerebral detective we’re used too.

The movie it most reminded me of was Wild Wild West but I think it could be worse than that for the following reasons:

  1. The Wild Wild West was a silly TV series. It’s less of a stretch to turn it into a silly action movie than doing the same with Sherlock Holmes.
  2. Pissed off Sherlock Holmes fans are going to be a lot more vocal than any Wild Wild West fans were.
  3. Will Smith has an established image as an action star. Robert Downey has Iron Man but he still has to convince an audience that he’s a credible action hero.
  4. The villain is someone named Lord Blackwood. No Professor Moriarty. Apparently they felt that the audience wouldn’t take a villain seriously unless he looked capable of beating people up.
  5. You go to a Barry Sonnenfeld movie, you get what you expect. People have higher expectations from Guy Ritchie.
  6. Wild Wild West had Salma Hayek’s ass in it. No confirmation yet on Rachel McAdams’ ass.

I think it could go either way.

I’m GLAD it’s not Professor Moriarty as the bad guy; Moriarty was only involved in a small number of the original works (2 or 3?) and he’s been overused in later adaptations.

I get the feeling that the vast majority of complaints about it not being true to the original is going to come from people who have never read the original.

Will it be bad? No shit, Sherlock.

Actually, I have no clue, I just wanted to use that line.

I’m hoping for goofy enjoyable action fare - but I’m none too hopeful.

But I saw the Sherlock Holmes episodes of TNG!

Holmes and Watson did occasionally trade wisecracks. Holmes was an accomplished boxer though the only fight I recall was with Moriarty (and off-screen).

I want to know if they’ll show Holmes taking cocaine.

The trailer I saw made it look like a *Die Hard *movie! I have read all the Holmes books multiple times, and I have zero expectations of this movie being at all true to form. However, Downey is pretty much always awesome in anything, so I’m going to try to enjoy the movie on its own terms.


I really don’t understand the complaints about turning Holmes into an action hero. He’s always been an action hero. Yes, he’s often able to solve a case without getting physically active, but when physical activity is called for, he doesn’t shy away from it, either.

Now, I can see the romantic subplot being a legitimate criticism, but even for that, I’m willing to give it the benefit of the doubt. I might or might not pay the $6 to see it on first run, but I probably will pay one or two bucks for it when it reaches the on-campus theater.

We’ve had versions of Holmes where he’s an immortal and fights Moriarty in the future, versions where the title character is played by a small dog, versions where he’s played by an android, two trys at Sherlock Holmes: the musical, a young Sherlock Holmes, and old Sherlock Holmes, a gay Sherlock Holmes, a delusional Holmes, a stupid Holmes, Holmes teaming up with anthropomorphic mice, Shirly Holmes, a muppet Holmes, Holmes teaming up with Batman, Holmes vs Jack the Ripper, Holmes vs Dracula, Holmes vs B.D. Cooper, Holmes vs Dr Jekyll, Holmes vs Cthulu, Holmes vs Nazi’s, Holmes vs Fu Manchu, Holmes vs Martians, etc.

At this point, I would hope the last of the Holmes purists have given up, and won’t complain if he throws a few punches and gets lucky a few times in the upcoming movie.

Holmes punched out a deserving dickwad in The Solitary Cyclist. It was even a bar brawl, and was niftily done by Jeremy Brett in the 1980s series. Here’s the smackdown in the pub.

Will Robert Downey Jr. punch anyone out? Probably, and get involved in flaming carriage wrecks as well.

It’s about time I dusted off the old .sig. Behold a genuine Holmsian bitchslap.

  • “(Mr. Woodley) walked in. He had been drinking his beer in the taproom and had heard the whole conversation. Who was I? What did I want? What did I mean by asking questions? He had a fine flow of language, and his adjectives were very vigorous. He ended a string of abuse by a vicious backhander, which I failed to entirely avoid. The next few minutes were delicious. It was a straight left against a slogging ruffian. I emerged as you see me. Mr. Woodley went home in a cart.”*

In A Study In Scarlet Watson refers to Holmes as “an expert singlestick player*, boxer and swordsman”.

I’ve read every Sherlock Holmes story/novel multiple times and seen several movies (Holmes was rather active in The Seven Per Cent Solution). I don’t mind that this new one will be juiced up, if it’s also good. The stereotypical Mr. Cerebral and his inaccurately older, sedentary Nigel Bruce-type sidekick has gotten boooring.

*apparently, a type of fencing using a walking stick or equivalent.

Nor does he shy away from playing the violin or shooting up drugs. But we wouldn’t want to see a version of SH that focused too much on music or rehab. The essence of H’s character is energetic deductive reasoning based on encyclopedic knowledge.

If the filmmakers’ have relied too heavily on action motifs it will be a stinkeroo indeed…

The OP would be a perfect example of this. I read a couple of Sherlock Holmes stories back when I was in school and wasn’t overly impressed. So I’m certainly no fanboy.

My complaint, such as it is, is that this looks like another likely example of a filmmaker deciding to rewrite his source material to match his “vision”. If you don’t want to make a movie about a cerebral detective, why are you making a Sherlock Holmes movie?

I don’t think it will be bad.

I ***know ***it will be bad!

My first thought on seeing the trailer was that Mark Strong, who plays the villian, should have been cast as Holmes.

And they should have dropped all the ludicrous action/sex/explosions etc., and stuck more closely to the canon.

You guys do realize that the point of trailers is to attract a wide audience right? Which why they throw all the action and sex and explosions in that and leave out things like dialogue. Kinda hard to judge the entire movie based off two minutes.

I should probably go post this in that Avatar thread…

Well, bad in the sense that it won’t be true to the books. Good in the sense that it will make millions.

Now that that’s out of the way. Kevin Smith was slated to direct a superman flick. Some producer was there giving input, saying how Superman should fight a giant spider. Spiders tested well. Spiders are scary. A spider has to be in it. Smith said, no thank you. He was kicked off the project. 18 months later that same producer produced Wild Wild West.

Sure, but the proper balance depends on the medium. Action works better in movies, in general, than encyclopædic deductions, so a Sherlock Holmes movie should focus a bit more on the action than the books did. And this is all the more true for trailers: You’ve got very limited time in a trailer, not long enough to do the deductions justice, but an explosion or the like only takes a fraction of a second. If we don’t see any of the intellectual Holmes in the movie, I’ll be very disappointed, but also very surprised. And if we see less of it than we do in the books, that’s only to be expected.