Downey's Holmes Fun, If Not Faithful

Critics are mixed on action-hero update of hallowed detective
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 24, 2009 11:00 AM CST
Updated Dec 25, 2009 9:12 AM CST

Robert Downey Jr. and Guy Ritchie’s action-hero take on Sherlock Holmes will have purists scrambling for a calming pipe, but its target audience won’t be disappointed. Here’s what the critics are saying:

  • “The whole movie, in its popcorn way, is bumptiously extravagant,” writes Owen Gleiberman of EW. It’s “both numb and fun, enjoyable and exhausting.”

  • “The plot darts here, there, and everywhere like a hepped-up cocaine fiend,” says Stephanie Zacharek of Salon. But it’s hard to mind, because “because the actors seem to take so much pleasure in the act of giving us a crazy spectacle.”
  • “The less I thought about Sherlock Holmes, the more I liked Sherlock Holmes,” says decided enthusiast Roger Ebert. But action fans will love it, and "the great detective, who has survived so much, can certainly shrug off a few special effects."
  • Peter Travers is less forgiving. “Holmes scholars will cry their eyes out over this update from hell,” he writes in Rolling Stone. “Downey is irresistible. The movie, not so much.”

(More Sherlock Holmes stories.)

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