Movie Review: Guy Ritchie’s Batman

I just saw the Batman movie that Guy Ritchie made.  It really nailed some of the aspects that no other Batman flick ever got right…

Of course, I’m talking about “Sherlock Holmes”, which is a silly alias to hide his work from DC Comics’ lawyers.  Okay, what am I blathering about?  Well, he got some of the Holmes and Watson stuff right, the CGI was excellent for that period of London, the case was suitably mysterious with overtones of dark magic and the fall of the British government.  The parts that seemed quite Batman-ish were as follows.

  1. The Fellow Can Take a Punch: This version of Sherlock Holmes, through his intense study of human anatomy and physics, is a remarkable hand to hand fighter.  He’s also quite well-muscled and strong.  There is a dose of James Bond in there as he battles one unnaturally strong and durable henchman of the villain.
  2. The Most Brilliant Mind: Although the style is a bit different, the same supremely analytical mind is present in both Sherlock Holmes and Batman, the same way of investigating a crime scene and detecting the faintest aroma of a rare chemical only used in the manufacture of a certain thing in a certain place in a certain time… and the encyclopedic knowledge to readily recognize it.
  3. Catwoman: Okay, in this movie, they call her Irene Adler but I assume that is an anagram for Selina Kyle, though I haven’t cracked that one yet.  The consummate thief and female criminal, Irene is the one Sherlock failed to catch, twice.  She seems to be the only match for him and the attraction between the two is palpable, though they remain restrained and un-united so the attraction doesn’t catch the screen on fire.
  4. Watson = Robin+Alfred: Okay, he’s Sherlock’s investigation partner and combat ally in all his melees which is Robin, but he’s got the military background and skills of a doctor, hence Alfred’s role.  He’s there to give Sherlock someone to explain things to so we, the audience, ‘get it’.  Robin and Alfred serve the same role, otherwise Batman would nearly never speak and we’d have no idea what he was doing and how he solved the case.
  5. Drama, Drama, Drama: It’s a big budget, action-thriller so it has to have drama.  A fight high atop the unfinished London Bridge… the villain falling to his death not by our hero’s hand but by fate… A convoluted plot involving a bomb which has to be deactivated with only moments to spare… I could go on, but the movie delivers the plot devices required to make all this relevant.

Overall, I enjoyed the film.  I’d been conditioned that it was a “bad” Sherlock Holmes film so my expectations were low.  Yes, he diverted from classic Holmes, but not in any way that I found distasteful.  Moriarty raises his sinister head, and Sherlock has ample opportunity to display his famous ‘eye for detail’.  I am not a huge Holmes aficionado but I think most people would enjoy the movie.

Grade: B

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