Monday, October 6, 2008

NO!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I had heard about this back in the summer but dismissed it as rumor (like when "they" said Jim Carrey was playing Steve Austin in the '6 Million Dollar Man' movie)... apparently it's for real though-- Robert Downey, Jr is set to play 'Sherlock Holmes' in a film by Guy Ritchie.
Now, take a moment to let that set in...........................................
Ok...
I am a big fan of Downey, and I have rather enjoyed the couple of films directed by Guy Ritchie that I have seen ('Snatch' and 'Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels') but... huh? What part of that equation adds up to 'Sherlock Holmes'?
I grew up on Holmes, having read all the Doyle stories (and many by other authors including Stephen King) and rather enjoying most of the film versions (especially the Basil Rathbone series). I also have enjoyed the old time radio programs I have heard over the years with several different actors playing the sleuth. I even like the movie 'Young Sherlock Holmes' despite it's lack of continuity with established canon and the fact that it turns into an 'Indiana Jones' story partway through. To me there has never been a better version than the television series starring Jeremy Brett. Hell, I even thought the Matt Frewer films were decent if poorly cast.
But Robert Downey, Jr? I just can't see it working no matter how fine an actor he is-- there is more than just talent involved in assuming certain roles. One need look no further than Peter Cushing to see that-- a wonderful actor, but a very weak Holmes. He lacked that certain........... something. And his look was all wrong.
Downey doesn't have the presence, the class, the look or the britishness needed to pull it off.
And Guy Ritchie? His work is so raw and dirty-- I don't see how he could do justice to the Holmes legacy at all... Again, he lacks the class necessary to do so. I read that he at first thought Downey was too old to play Holmes-- has Guy ever read any Sherlock stuff? Probably not, but since when has that kept a director from doing a project? Holmes was fairly young when he started his recorded adventures, but you'd hardly want someone wet behind the ears playing the part...
Another thing that worries me is from an article that appeared in 'Variety'-- Michael Fleming wrote, "Downey emerged as an action star with 'Iron Man' and 'Sherlock Holmes' also will take advantage of his physical skills as the character displays brawn as well as brains,". Now, if that is just the author's musing, that is fine, but considering the director, I doubt that... Will we be seeing an action oriented Holmes? Granted it has been made clear on more than one occasion that Holmes is a boxer, and 'The Speckled Band' demonstrated that he is quite strong, having straightened out a fireplace poker that was bent to intimidate him, but he is hardly a man of action. He would much prefer to not become physically involved in a fight, and even though he is known to carry a pistol (more often than not Watson has it though), he rarely is willing to pull the trigger.
Also, apparently the movie is to be based off of a comic book version of 'Sherlock Holmes' as opposed to the Doyle stories. Hardly seems to be a fitting, but at least they aren't doing 'Hound of the Baskervilles' for the 3,000th time...
I have left out one final part of this mess that bothers me... Dr Watson-- he is to be played by Jude Law. Too young, too fit, too.......... I don't know, but he sure as hell is no Watson. I think he would be a better pick for Holmes if I had to choose between him and Downey actually.
I thought my biggest film dread was the upcoming live-action 'G.I.Joe' film-- I may have changed my mind on that one... And don't even get me started on the future comedic version starring Will Ferrell as Watson and that 'Borat' dude as Holmes. Yeesh...

7 comments:

Booksteve said...

I said the same thing about Jude Law as Holmes rather than Watson. At the same time, don't dismiss Downey's lack of "britishness." Have you seen CHAPLIN? That said, this goes near the top of my "I'm scared" list of coming soons.

Lisa_mynx said...

acting british and BEING british are two entirely different things...

Mike Church said...

I too am a Holmes fan from way back (and I agree with your opinion of Jeremy Brett as the best Holmes). The only issue I had with the Basil Rathbone/Nigel Bruce version were the movies set in modern London - Sherlock Holmes fighting German Spies just didn't do it for me.

Regarding Downey - he's an awesome actor and I'm taking a wait and see approach. To be honest, I can't really get worked up about stuff like this...Frank Miller's Spirit wears a black suit instead of a blue one? Oh well.. Zack Snyder's Watchmen wear muscle suits a la Schumacher's Batman? Ho hum... Sorry if I'm coming across as snarky today - it's Monday.

Lisa_mynx said...

someone ill suited to play a role in a movie by the wrong director is a little bit more serious than costume changes...

Lisa_mynx said...

I agree with you about being bothered with the timeline the Basil Rathbone films were set in-- of the 14 made, I think 12 were set in modern time. But it was cheaper and easier for them to do it that way, so shit happens. Didn't they do the same thing with the 'Wonder Woman' TV show? I'm thinking the first season or two was set during WWII and the rest was modern day with no real explanation (other than I guess you could say the beginning of the show was the Golden-Age WW and the rest was the Silver-Age).

joe bloke said...

guy ritchie has proven without any doubt that he can't direct to save his life. Lock Stock & Snatch were cool, for what they were, but Swept Away, Revolver, and Rock 'n' Roller are terrible films. I mean, REALLY TERRIBLE. i love Robert Downey as an actor, I love Sherlock Holmes as a character, but I can't see this working, at all. I don't want an action movie Sherlock Holmes.

this goes up there with The Spirit as the big film for Joe to avoid like a Christian.

Lisa_mynx said...

you nailed it, Joe...