Most critics agree that the new Sherlock Holmes remains an intellectual Superman -- just as he was in the original Conan Doyle stories. He's also a physical superman, too. A.O. Scott in the New York Times remarks that "the chief innovation" of the Sherlock Holmes movie is that Holmes is "in addition to everything else, a brawling, head-butting, fist-in-the-gut, knee-in-the-groin action hero," all of which results in a movie that is "intermittently diverting." Of course, Downey has played a full-fledged action hero in Iron Man , Joe Morgenstern notes in the Wall Street Journal, so "it's great fun to watch him [as Holmes] do the detective work he always does, finding laughs and bright surprises in every scene." Writes Lisa Kennedy in the Denver Post "This is not your grandparents', or even your parents', Holmes. Vim and vigor have been restored to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's famously cerebral master of deduction." Likewise, Peter Howell in the Toronto Star , while finding fault with the script and the direction, writes that Downey "is arguably more true to Doyle's vision than Basil Rathbone's enduring pipe smoker of earlier films." And Joy Tipping in the Dallas Morning News gives the movie her unqualified praise. "Despite the deviations from writer Arthur Conan Doyle's version of his hero, however, I strongly suspect the author would have approved of the script's originality and excitement. This is rip-roaring action-adventure of high order, a sometimes dizzying but ultimately thrilling display of showmanship on the part of the actors, director and screenwriters." But Kyle Smith in the New York Post is not at all pleased by what the filmmakers have done to Holmes. The movie, he writes, "dumbs down a century-old synonym for intelligence with S&M gags, witless sarcasm, murky bombast and twirling action-hero moves that belong in a ninja flick." Most of the movie, he concludes, "could scarcely have been more off-base if Sherlock had worn a backwards Yankee cap instead of a deerstalker and Watson had inquired of him, 'What up, Holmes?'" Claudia Puig in USA Today is less censorious, but she nevertheless sums up "While this incarnation has visual flair and attitude, it is too modern, and it blithely jettisons Holmes' wit and wisdom."

25/12/2009