It was said that Guy Ritchie’s version of Sherlock Holmes would make Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Sherlock Holmes turn in their graves. I believe this statement to be true to the extent that the latest had a grave.

Yes, this version of Sherlock Holmes – which I hear will be soon followed by a sequel – is much more 21st century entertainment. It resembles much more some of the latest and more successful entries in the genre like V for Vendetta or The Dark Knight than 19th century detective stories. It is dark and violent and has political connotations that speak only to these who lived through the 20th century history. It’s the kind of entertainment which you watch first to relax (if you like the genre) but yet you do not end viewing it with the feeling that you watched a completely brainless piece of garbage.

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Much of the quality of Guy Ritchie’s version lies in the tormented version of the principal character that is being created by Robert Downing Jr. The rational detective from Baker Street is a man of all sins who is capable not only of reasoning but also of fighting and surviving in a brutal world, as well of feeling deeply for a cared one who betrays him not only once. Then we have a vision of London as a 19th century Cour des Miracles which is rendered in a strikingly poignant manner as a stage of all possibilities becoming true provided they they rely on 19th century most advanced science. I liked this vision and for once the perspective of the sequel does not make me uncomfortable.

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