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(Review originally written at 7 November 2007)

This is a great fun, adventurous, mystery movie, with also supernatural elements in it, which focuses on a very young Sherlock Holmes, solving his very first crime.

It never has been a big secret that director Barry Levison is a Steven Spielberg admirer. Spielberg's hand as a producer is definitely notable in this movie. It features the same adventurous elements and humor, that were also always featured in his earlier movies. For instance some of the sequences and moments in this movie really reminded me mostly of the first two Indiana Jones movies, which he already had made before this movie. I also liked the use of shadows within the movie, most likely also touch from Spielberg, who is a Michael Curtiz fan. Some of the sequences within this movie are an obvious reference to the work of Curtiz. Also quite fun to notice that the touch of writer Chris Colombus was notable. Some elements show some remarkable similarities to the earliest Harry Potter movies, on which Colombus worked as a director.

But I also have to admit that the movie its story, written by Chris Columbus, was rather simplistic. It doesn't take away the fact that this is still a fun movie to watch, but it at the same time also prevents the movie from being a truly great one. As the movie progresses it's pretty obvious to where the movie is heading. So there are no real surprises and it's pretty clear from the beginning on who are the true good and bad guys of the movie. It's also true that in the end the movie is just a bit too supernatural, which goes at the expenses of the credibility of the movie and story.

The movie is good looking, with a nice pleasant and historic atmosphere all over it and good looking sets and costumes. The movie further more also features the very first to have a completely CGI character. How is that for movie history? The effects were already great looking, which also goes for most of the other effects in this movie.

The musical score by Bruce Broughton is truly great! It's amazing how this guy has never gotten more big projects. He's even an one time Oscar-nominee after all! His last big 'project' was the movie "Lost in Space", from 1998.

The acting of the movie isn't much special. No wonder non of the young actors ever quite made it in the movie world. There are some good and interesting secondary characters, but those get mostly pushed toward the background. So, the movie is perhaps focusing a bit too much on just the main character, which is also understandable, considering the icon that Sherlock Holmes is.

It's a great fun, simplistic little movie to watch, as long as your expectations for it aren't too big.

7/10

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About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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