Contemporary Sherlock Holmes part 1

With another Sherlock Holmes movie coming out in the summer, we take a look at other interpretations of the genius consulting detective and how well they have done in recent years.

Movies/TV Shows considered:

contemporary sherlock holmes

First part of the discussion will be the one thing that all three executions have in common and that is great actors in both major roles of Sherlock and Watson.

In Guy Ritchie’s Sherlock Holmes, Robert Downey Jr. plays the homonymous character accompanied by Jude Law in the role of John Watson.  One of the most widely recognized actors of his generation RDJ adds his unique touch to the character, elegant and explosive, he delivers everything superbly with a minor yet satisfying old English accent as the only non-English actor of the three in question, from puns to monologues of deduction, he is just fascinating to watch on screen. 8.5/10

On BBC’s Sherlock we have one of the rising stars of our time, Benedict Cumberbatch with Martin Freeman playing the doctor.  Cumberbatch is incredible as Sherlock, he has a way with the character that transfers his eccentric energy and sociopath status to the viewer like no other.  Walking on the fine line of being so irritating that sometimes audiences find it too much, he gets the most out of the narcissistic and uncanny side of Sherlock. Along with Freeman they achieve both great moments of drama but also comedy, something that adds another dimension to the show. 9/10

In Elementary, it’s Jonny Lee Miller who shows his acting chops, out of all 3 interpretations he has the most dramatic tension in scenes and he gives scintillating performances time and again in the 3 years the show has been running.  He consistently manages to capture the feelings of Sherlock to perfection and it is when he has to show emotion that he shines. On this occasion Watson is portrayed by Lucy Liu and she might not be of the same caliber as Law or Freeman but she does a good job to keep up and support Miller. 8/10

To be fair, there isn’t much between the actors portraying the main man.  However as far as Watson is concerned, although Lucy Liu is a decent actress, she simply doesn’t have the star status and charm that Law and Freeman bring to the game.

Part 2: The production and theme.

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6 comments

  1. Sherlock is one of my absolute FAVORITE shows ever lol
    You forgot one though – it’s a bit old (it isn’t running anymore after 8 seasons) but I still like it – House M.D. My friend actually just got me into it, so I’m only on the second season, but so far it’s good 🙂

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  2. The BBC series “The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes” (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0086661/) sticks closely to the source material (i.e. Arthur Conan Doyle). For me, Sherlock comes close to the original early on, where its episodes are modern day takes on the original stories. The second Sherlock Holmes movie also follows the original novel in its basic plot. Elementary mainly has only the character of the great detective in common with the source, and is far inferior to the early episodes of Sherlock IMO. If you haven’t watched “The Adventures”, you should, first, because it’s really good, and second, so you can see what these retellings are retelling.

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    1. You are right I should watch The Adventures sooner or later. However I am half way reading all the original books, so I do know what the retellings are about, well some of them for the moment being. Thanks for spending the time, much appreciated.

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