Sherlock Holmes: The Movie, The Novel, the Legacy

Sherlock Holmes (2009 film)

Sherlock Holmes (2009 film) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Movie

Robert Downey Jr., who took on the role of Sherlock Holmes in the 2009 film Sherlock Holmes (2011 Release mentioned below) brought a fresh, yet book-based, approach to the famous character.

The character of Sherlock Holmes reprises his usual role of a queerly behaved gentlemen – yet with a more modern-day, block-buster movie approach. At the start of the film, we gain a greater glimpse at Sherlock’s finesse in the art of boxing, as he knocks his opponent out by outwitting him to the utmost extent.


Image via Wikipedia

“Head cocked to the left. Partial deafness in ear. First point of attack. Two: throat; paralyze vocal chords, stop scream. Three: got to be heavy drinker. Floating rib to the liver. Four: finally, drag in left leg, fist to patella. Summary prognosis: unconscious in ninety seconds, partial efficacy quarter of an hour at best. Full faculty recovery: unlikely.”

-Sherlock Holmes (Robert Downey Jr.) Formulating His Next Move. [Wikiquote]

The film certainly makes a full-fledged attempt to appeal to movie-goer’s as a whole, rather than your typical Sherlockian bookworm – especially with introducing the series most infamous villain, Prof. Moriarty, as the primary criminal mastermind before the end of the film. The plot however, is primarily centered around a man by the name of Lord Henry Blackwood – a supposed black arts master who is later proven to be, with his practice along with him, a mere gimmick – deduced by the one and only Sherlock Holmes. Various book-based plot details, such as the engagement (and eventual marriage) of Watson and Mary Morstan (which furthermore made for some humorous moments involving the usual oddities of Sherlock Holmes’s character).  Irene Adler also makes an appearance, playing a surprisingly large and fairly vital role in the development of the film – including a further established romance with Sherlock Holmes.

The film is quite suspenseful, and fairly well lives up to the general level of the same fascinating and most captivating mystery invoked by the novels of Sir Doyle.

As for the nitty-gritty technicalities of the matter – the film is rather gruesome in some moments, especially in it’s portrayal of murder sequences and the full-fledged graphic detail of a dead man’s decomposing corpse. In this, the film is certainly unfit for a child under the age of 13 – thus the rating of PG-13 (for thematic material including violence, disturbing images and a scene of suggestive material.)

Christian Aspects

For those Christian Sherlockians out there, some of  the films content may appear disturbing in more ways than one. Sherlock Holmes, most peculiarly, engages in a ritual of pentagrams and crosses, to discover a further aspect of Blackwood’s plan. The very man himself [Blackwood] is also cause for concern, for, as puts it:

Lord Blackwood isn’t just some well-moneyed madman with a yen for murder most foul. He’s actually portrayed as the devil’s loyal servant, and there’s even a suggestion he might be the spawn of Satan himself. His father confesses that the boy was conceived during a dark, pagan ritual, and that ‘death followed him wherever he went.’

Sherlock Holmes READ Poster with Jude Law and ...

Image by ALA staff via Flickr

The Literature

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s writing was [and still is], in short, genius innovation. He brought about one of the most famous literary characters in history – with an imagination beyond that of many mystery writers today. The unique character of Sherlock Holmes, with all his oddities and nearly inhuman faculties, produced a series that has endured over 123 years since it’s creation and into the modern day. It is still enjoyed by scholars, adults, and kids & teenagers alike.

The Upcoming 2011 Film

Sherlock Holmes 2 (December 16, 2011 [1]), with Robert Downey Junior reprising his role as the famous Holmes, promises much. Featuring the dynamic personalities of such characters as Mycroft Holmes (Stephen Fry), the intellectual twin of Sherlock Holmes (and his brother by blood),  and Professor Moriarty (Jared Harris), the paradoxical entity of Sherlock, using his vast faculty for crime. Its very title seems to add an amount of intrigue to the movie, being Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows – and what better than the introduction of Moriarty?

The AW Blog review is now available.

Th 2011 Novel: The House of Silk

Anthony Horowtiz – author of the famous Alex Rider series, and Power of Five novels, has been enlisted, for the first time in history, by the Conan Doyle Estate to write a new Sherlock Holmes novel. Mr. Horowitz has stated that he will stay true to the writings of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, yet intends to place Sherlock Holmes in a new environment – the 21st Century. Look for it this September in a book store near you! [1]

-Adventure Writer's Blog: January 19th, 2011

The House of Silk has already arrived in bookstores, much to the delight of Sherlock fans across the globe. It certainly makes the mark, and many of the critics agree, but you’ll have to read it for yourself. Be sure to check out the Adventure Writer Blog’s preliminary, but detailed, review of the novel: available now!

Other 2011 Blockbusters

Dismayed by the lack of good movies? Well there’s plenty on their way (and now on DVD) in various genres, here’s just a few:

Kung-Fu Panda 2: The Kaboom of Doom (DVD [Comedy])

X-Men: First Class (DVD [Action/Adventure])

Green Lantern (June 17th, 2011 [Superhero Adventure])

-Transformers III: Dark of the Moon (July 1st, 2011 [Sci-Fi Action Film])

Captain America: The First Avenger (DVD [Superhero Adv.])

-Happy Feet (Nov. 28th, 2011 [Family Favorite])

Sherlock Holmes II (Dec. 16th, 2011 [Thrilling Classic])

-National Treasure III (Dec. 25th, 2011 [Captivating Historical Adventure])

Release Information from Wikipedia: Movie Release Dates.


About The Game Detective

Hello, my dear Watsons, I'm The Game Detective.

Posted on 01/19/2011, in Adventure Writer Favorite, Adventure Writer Landmark, All-Things-Reviews, Book Reviews, Literary Focus, Movie Reviews, Post-A-Day {2011}, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. I thought there were some interesting ideas in this movie, but overall it was not quite as good as it could have been. It was worth it to try to re-imagine Sherlock Holmes in a new way, but – I don’t know, it tried to be exciting and wasn’t, I guess?

    • Agreed, could have been much better.
      Hopefully there will be improvement in the sequel, there appears to be a sufficient amount of dynamic characters and a well built cast to make it promising.

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