Quick Blu-ray Box Set Review – The ‘Sherlock Holmes’ Films with Robert Downey Jr.

Hello everyone! 🙂

Welcome to ‘Bradley’s Basement’ blog and I’m Tim Bradley!

I’m currently checking out the ‘Sherlock’ BBC TV series with Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman on Blu-ray. I can’t say I’m enjoying the particular series as much as others have enjoyed it and I’ll be sharing my detailed reviews on each of the episodes in the TV series to explain why that is.

Is another ‘Sherlock Holmes’ series I might enjoy?

Yep, they’ll do.

From Guy Ritchie, the director of the 2015 ‘Man From U.N.C.L.E.’ film (Huh?) and 2019’s ‘Aladdin’ (That’s more like it!), the two ‘Sherlock Holmes’ that were released in 2009 and 2011, starring Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law, are unique film adaptations of the famous crime-solving detective.

I purchased the two ‘Sherlock Holmes’ films with Robert Downey Jr. on Blu-ray for my Mum as a Christmas present in 2021. My parents and I enjoyed the two ‘Sherlock Holmes’ films with Robert Downey Jr. and I feel they’re superior compared to the ‘Sherlock’ series with Benedict Cumberbatch.

It’s a shame though that (so far) only two ‘Sherlock Holmes’ films with Robert Downey Jr. have been made, as they’re well put-together. Mind you, Robert Downey Jr. could’ve been very busy in the passing years gone by with playing Tony Stark/Iron Man in the ‘Marvel Cinematic Universe’ movies.

The films themselves do feel action-packed compared to other film and TV adaptations I’ve seen of Sherlock Holmes. I also feel the 2009 and 2011 ‘Sherlock Holmes’ at least try to explain how Sherlock solves a crime being caused rather than have it be told to us very cryptically to understand.

The first ‘Sherlock Holmes’ film released in 2009 has Sherlock and his companion Dr. Watson solving the mystery of a mystic man’s plot to gain control of Britain by seemingly supernatural means. It was fun how Sherlock unravelled the supernatural means as being parlour tricks to fool the uninitiated. 🙂

Robert Downey Jr. is very good as Sherlock Holmes in both films. He manages to pull off that British accent he uses for Sherlock Holmes very well compared to the sort-of Welsh accent he used for Dr. Dolittle in the Dolittle’ film he did. I wish he did ‘Sherlock Holmes 3’ following ‘Avengers: Endgame’.

I enjoyed Jude Law as Dr. Watson in the two ‘Sherlock Holmes’ films. In some respects, the Robert Downey Jr./Jude Law dynamic of Holmes and Watson is eerily similar to the Benedict Cumberbatch/Martin Freeman dynamic I’ve seen so far. Both dynamics are enjoyable all the same. 🙂

Joining Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law are Rachel McAdams as Irene Adler (Hmm, maybe Rachael Adams should have played Irene Adler in the BBC ‘Sherlock’ series instead, since she worked with Benedict Cumberbatch as ‘Doctor Strange’ 😀 ), and there’s Mark Strong as the evil Lord Henry Blackwood. 🙂

I saw Mark Strong recently in ‘Cruella’. There’s also Kelly Reilly as Mary Morstan, whom Watson wishes to marry; Eddie Marsan as Inspector Lestrade, Hans Matheson as Lord Coward, Geraldine James as Mrs. Hudson, James Fox (from 2003’s ‘Shada’) as Sir Thomas Rotheram, William Hope as American Ambasador Standish, Robert Maillet as Dredger and William Houston as Constable Clark. 🙂

It’s intriguing the first ‘Sherlock Holmes’ film with Robert Downey Jr. doesn’t have an origins story of Sherlock and Watson meeting each other. It matches less to how the ‘Sherlock’ BBC TV series began, but it matches to how the Basil Rathbone/Nigel Bruce ‘Sherlock Holmes’ films had no introduction to the two main leads. 🙂

The second film called ‘Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows’ has equally been enjoyable, although it was intriguing to hear from my parents that they preferred the first film over the second film. They found the first film easier to follow compared to how the second film turned out, which is quite fair.

In ‘A Game of Shadows’, Holmes and Watson travel across Europe in order to foil an intricate plot by their cunning nemesis Professor Moriarty to investigate a war. They have a Romani adventuress helping them. I must say, I found Moriarty in this film series more intimidating than the BBC series. 🙂

Jared Harris plays Professor Moriarty in the film and I like how he gets to have more screen time and interaction with Sherlock compared to the first film where he was mostly a voice in the shadows. It was a big shock though when Moriarty killed Rachel McAdams as Irene Adler at the film’s beginning.

The film’s cast also includes Stephen Fry (who I enjoyed in this) as Mycroft Holmes, Sherlock’s brother. There’s also Noomi Rapace as Madame Simza Heron, the Romani adventuress, Kelly Reilly as Mary Morstan, who marries Watson in the film, and there’s Eddie Marsan as Inspector Lestrade. 🙂

There’s also Paul Anderson as Sebastian Moran, Geraldine James as Mrs. Hudson, Thierry Neuvic as Claude Ravache, Fatima Adoum as Manouche, Wolf Kahler as Dr. Hoffmanstahl, and Affif Ben Badra as Tamas Morato. I believe the second film got more international actors to play its characters here.

Ironically, I saw the second film at the cinema without seeing the first film. I’m glad I’ve seen both ‘Sherlock Holmes’ films with Robert Downey and that my parents and I own them on Blu-ray. I look forward to revisiting the films again. I’m glad my parents and I have enjoyed them this Christmas.

Thanks for reading!

Bye for now!

Tim. 🙂

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