I have a lifelong crush on Sherlock Holmes, dating to when I discovered a battered copy of A Study in Scarlet and Other Stories when I was about 8. Although I never much cared for the old Basil Rathbone films (and never saw any of Jeremy Brett's TV version, I loved Murder by Decree, in which Christopher Plummer as Holmes (with James Mason as Watson) goes up against Jack the Ripper. Stellar cast, very atmospheric, a good mix of mystery with occasional light touches.
Then along came Robert Downey, Jr.
Now, you know I'm going to love a movie that features RDJ with no shirt. In fact--
spoilers ahead for various Sherlock Homes films, TV shows, etc.
In fact, any movie with him bound naked to a bed will definitely draw my interest. In addition, I loved the movie's interpretation of Sherlock Holmes, especially the foregrounding of the original homoerotic subtext. I also liked the return of the muscular, street-fighting Sherlock, which is much closer to Doyle's original creation than the casual reader might believe. The production was gorgeous, too, though I would really have preferred to limit the time in the slaughterhouse. It's been a few years since I saw it, so I can't remember what i thought about the plot. Maybe that's sufficient comment right there.
Swoony, slashy, sexy. Wonderful. Clearly the One True Sherlock was RDJ.
It seems deeply unfair that my illusions were shattered by watching the first season of the new Sherlock. Benedict Cumberbatch is so physically perfect as Holmes that he puts RDJ in the shade. The bony face, bizarrely elongated body, coltish movements -- yes, and the consistent British accent -- he really is ideal for the role. I like Martin Freeman, too, who plays Watson balanced between common sense and frustration with his genius roommate. And I'm enjoying the updates to the stories, although I'm distressed at the racism in the first season. (Haven't yet seen the second.)
So tonight we watched the second RDJ Sherlock Holmes movie. Didn't pass the Bechdel test, but it did have a few women, and they weren't just cheeseburgers. And the right mix of humor and seriousness, and many interesting explosions, and RDJ in drag. Oh, and the fabulous Stephen Fry as Mycroft -- a casting choice that could not be more perfect. How could anyone resist?
So I think I may need to spend more time watching various versions to see which one really is the One True Sherlock. Or maybe I'll just divide them into eras and give them separate awards: Best Victorian Sherlock, Best Modern Sherlock, Sherlock I'd most like to tie up naked.
I'm turning into a fangirl.
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