I decided a year ago that Guy Ritchie‘s Sherlock Holmes (Warner Bros., 12.25) movie would be largely dismissable. Because I knew it would be made, like all super-expensive high-concept CG adventures, for the under-25 mongrel moviegoing culture which “doesn’t want to know from 19th Century London” and “cares only about eating popcorn and scratching their balls during the trailers.” About eight months ago a Sarah Lyall N.Y. Times article reiterated the same impression.
“This is surely evidence of a degraded culture,” I responded. “The general dilution and animalization of rarified values and dashing cerebral derring-do, which were once admired or at least found intriguing by average moviegoers.”
And then the official trailer came along last May and that was it. There could be only one….all right, three responses. One, enjoy the performances by Robert Downey, Jr. and Jude Law. Two, admire the production design, pyrotechnics, CG, costumes, stunts and all the other peripherals. And three, hate everything else about it. For Sherlock Holmes will almost certainly be an Eloi movie, a corporate bullshit movie, a Goldman Sachs and AIG movie, the new Wild Wild West.
Barring a miracle it will almost certainly say the wrong things, do the wrong things, be the wrong things, traffic in bromance humor and poison your soul. Is it unfair that I’m committed to hating Sherlock Holmes come hell or high water? Yes, surely. Is it fair that Hitfix’s Drew McWeeny is apparently committed to finding a way to love it, come hell or high water? Possibly, maybe, you tell me. But I think my attitude is healthier.
Why bring it up again? Because a sequel is on the way, probably in a couple of years.
“Now, I love England,” Downey Jr. told Empire recently. “But we might need to shoot the next one abroad. Jude and I’ll be texting each other. I’ll say, ‘Brussels!; he’ll say, ‘Gstaad!’ We’re really gonna dig deep for the next one.”
Is everyone down with the deal? Downey and Law and producer Joel Silver and whomever is hired to direct the sequel get to text each other and have fun and deposit their fat mercenary paychecks, and we get to pay $12.50 plus parking and popcorn so we can sit there and watch the Holmes sequel while sitting next to wildebeests as they tear open their Twizzlers with their teeth and the ushers pass out sharpened sewing needles so we can stab ourselves in the eye if it all gets to be too much.