Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Sherlock Holmes (2010)

Well, hello hello! Here we have a pleasant surprise! The Asylum has produced mockbusters of are couple of years now, often with stories similar to the big Hollywood-epics they're copying. But with Sherlock Holmes it's just... Sherlock Holmes, and very far away from that blockbuster with Robert Downey Jr and Jude Law. In this case that's only a good thing, because Rachel Goldenberg's version of Arthur Conan Doyle's legendary character has a lot more charm than you could expect. 

We begin in 1940. The Germans is attacking London, bombing the hell out of it. An old and dying Dr Watson is sitting in his apartment claiming this is the second time he see London burn. He ask his maid if she can write something day, and so be begins to tell a story that begins with a huge sea monster attacking a ship on it's way to London. He and Holmes is getting involved, but Lestrade is dismissing everything as a hoax, just a crazy witness trying to get some attention. When a dinosaur kills a man in East End and a big water pump is stolen in a part, the mystery becomes even bigger and more absurd...

Yes, to be honest. This is a nice little script made on a very low budget. Everything hangs together, and even the sea monster and dinosaur get their explanation, even if you have to stop thinking that it's a bit to complicated. It would have been easier to do some things with out a prehistoric monster and a giant squid! But fuck that. The Asylum-team has shot everything in the UK, and used some marvelous locations and some clever angles to hide that they don't have any budget to build sets with. The cinematography is professional and so even editing and the movie even has a big, pompous score that fits perfect to the story. Rachel Goldenberg directs with a steady hand and if she can continue to direct, she will be the best director in the whole company. 

As usual the visual effects are cheap, but works fine because the story is so absurd anyway. They even have a more cartoonish quality that fits just great. But my favorite character in this movie among the bad guys is neither the dino or squid, it's the ultra-cool retro-style cyborg that blesses the story half way through. It makes the story even more steampunk than it is, and it's quite much after all, and looks great in the movie. We're getting CG-explosions, one animated dinosaur and sea monster, and a cool robo-dragon as a bonus! Everything made with a lot of heart.

But it wouldn't be as great with out some excellent actors. Ben Syder and Gareth David-Lloyd as Holmes and Watson are way better than I would ever expect, with a lot of chemistry and charisma. The dialogue is mostly quite witty, and I actually wish that The Asylum could make another movie with these too now. The main baddie is played with a lot of joy by Dominic Keating.

I can confess that I have a hard time complaining when it comes to this movie. It's way to charming and entertaining, in it's ultra-lowbudget-style, to get irritated at. A well done little matinée that I will revisit many times.

1 comment:

forestofthedead said...

Man I want to see this much more than I want to see the movie that inspired it.
Excellent review!