Dir. Guy Ritchie. UK. 2009.

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Guy Ritchie's interpretation of Sherlock Holmes is violent, exciting and not at all like interpretations of old. This new action packed take on the legendary detective may be hard to swallow for ardent fans, but the majority of people will be too swept up in the plot to be too bothered about the differences between Holmes of the page and the screen.

The story revolves around evil serial killer Lord Blackwood (Mark Strong) who Holmes (Robert Downey Jr.) and Watson (Jude Law) catch at the beggining of the film. After he has been hanged, and proclaimed dead by Dr. Watson himself, people claim to have seen him, and then more people start  mysteriously dying...

It is not all death and gloom however. At the same time as trying to catch Blackwood, comic relief is provided as Holmes tries to ruin Watson's relationship with Mary (Kelly Reilly). There is also romance for Holmes himself as Irene Adler (Rachel McAdams), the only criminal from the past he never defeated, as well as the only one he has ever loved, returns with secret instructions from a shadowy boss.
Robert Downey Jr  and Jude Law really make this film. Although the plot is sometimes a little tricky to understand, the totally asexual chemistry between the two of them makes it hard to tear your eyes from the screen and as a result lots of popcorn ends up on the floor! Downey Jr. is particularly impressive, his English accent is flawless and makes what initially may have been seen as slightly off-kilter casting seem the only feasible option.

 Rachel McAdams puts up a valiant effort, but is really outclassed and outacted by the two leads and as a results seems a bit like she's trying too hard to act when it comes just so easily to the others. 

A honourable mention must also go to Mark Strong, who is fantastically creepy as the evil Lord Blackwood, a brilliant villain, who keeps you guessing the whole way though as to whether he really is using magic or if it's all just a clever trick.

This is a film that needs to be seen.

Chloe Walker

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