Story: Someone is murdering young women in London, so the police call in Sherlock Holmes to solve the crimes. Which he does in the opening of the movie, only to have the Big Bad escape which leads to him using his deductive powers to hunt him down again. Plus Moriarty.
Detective: Sherlock Holmes, the greatest detective the world has ever known, here given a manic intensity and sexuality by Robert Downey, Jr. not to mention making Holmes an action hero.
Release Date: Dec. 25, 2009
Writers: Michael Robert Johnson, Anthony Peckham, Simon Kinberg
Source: Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes stories, but not any one title in particular
Detective as protagonist?
Jenny: Yes, definitely. He fills the screen, albeit a little more flamboyantly than the original Holmes.
Lani: You bet.
Murderer as antagonist?
Jenny: Yes, definitely. He practically cackles in his black heart, challenges Holmes to catch him, and continues murdering with impunity.
Lani: It’s very clear who the antagonist is, and he’s consistently the antagonist from scene 1.
Conflict created by murder?
Jenny: Yes. Holmes is drawn into the story by previous murders and is spurred on by subsequent killings.
Lani: Yep; it starts with Holmes saving one girl, then trying to stop the antagonist before he kills some more.
Fair play with all the clues given?
Jenny: Yes, although there’s so much STUFF going on in this movie, it’s hard to find the clues. That’s fair play, though: red herrings are pretty much a staple in the mystery genre.
Lani: Not really. There are clues like the smell of evidence, which are expressed by seeing Sherlock Holmes smelling things, but it’s not enough information that the viewer can solve the puzzle herself. While all the clues are shown, they aren’t really given, thus making it impossible for the viewer to actively participate, which is the element that I think rules this out as a mystery. I think a key qualifier for a mystery is that the viewer has everything she needs to solve along with the detective.
Solved using deduction, not luck?
Jenny: Yes. It’s kind of Holmes’s specialty.
STORY ANALYSIS & RATINGS:
Jenny says: 5 Pops (the four for romance doesn’t really count since that’s such a minor subplot)
Mystery: 5, Craft: 5, , Suspense: 5, Romance: 4, Comedy: 5
Lani says: 5 Pops (with the proviso that it’s not a mystery, nor is it a romance, and that’s where this story doesn’t work as well, but it’s not what it’s supposed to be; it’s an Action Adventure, and for that, it’s a solid 5)
Mystery: ~ (not a mystery in the way we mean it, although the howdunnit is excellent, so this would be a 5, but… not a mystery), Action/Adventure: 5, Craft: 5, , Suspense: 5, Romance: 3, Comedy: 5