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The Rat who is made of Stainless Steel

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Film Review: Sherlock Holmes (2009)
Sherlock Holmes (2009). Directed by Guy Ritchie. Set in the late 19th century, the film kicks off in the middle of action as Sherlock Holmes (Robert Downey Jr.) and Dr. Watson (Jude Law) race to save a woman from being murdered as part of a ritual. Said ritual is being effected by Lord Blackwood (Mark Strong) for some purpose related to the black arts. It was my mistake that I watched the sequel before this, as the two dovetail into each other. I had tried to watch the first film before, but fell asleep during the first few minutes, and partly attributed it to the film. It goes to show how a rewatch in better circumstances can surprise you, as my experience couldn't have been more different the second time around. All the pieces were there for a fantastic film, and they were well assembled. Firstly there was a rich and well paced story. Secondly, Robert Downey Jr. is simply fantastic as Holmes, helped by the set pieces which follow Holmes' logic. As with the second film, Jude Law is almost at his best playing second fiddle and straight man to Downey's wonderful character. Unlike the second film for me, the protagonist this time around is much more credible and threatening, and has some screen presence. The backdrop of late 19th century London is beautifully realised, as are all the special effects. Hans Zimmer's more than competent soundtrack provides the ideal accompaniment, without overstaying its welcome. Coincidentally I watched the sequel again on the plane last night, and enjoyed it a bit more. Anyway, the first film is strongly recommended for any fan of reasonably intelligent action, albeit with the caveat that I did find it a bit bland the first time around. 5/5 (Excellent)