Despite its good showing at the box office, Guy Ritchie’s “Sherlock Holmes” has failed to impress the Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano, which echoed the disappointment of some reviewers who found the sleuth to be too "modernized." Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's protagonist is difficult to recognize "between one fistfight and another," the paper said.
The character Sherlock Holmes has captured the imaginations of adults and children since his creation in 1886 by Arthur Conan Doyle. In the new film, his character is played by Robert Downey, Jr.
The Vatican newspaper dedicated an article to the film last week, saying that although the story was "amusing" and held "a hundred surprises" in every scene, the way the character of Sherlock Holmes was "deconstructed" to become a member of “the underground" was perplexing.
The article expressed a general disillusionment with the character who "boxes in the most sordid circles of London, makes himself easily unpleasant to most (especially to Watson), offends gentile, enamored damsels and leaves lords and prime ministers with their mouths wide open.” According to L'Osservatore, the Ritchie's characterization of Sherlock Holmes can be summarized as “(he) jumps, flees and fights."
In the Vatican paper's opinion, it will be difficult for this "adrenaline-filled operation," modified to modernize the main character, to be approved by readers, who will be "trying to recognize their literary hero between one fistfight and another."
Warner Bros. reported that the movie grossed a record $24.9 million on its Christmas Day debut.
* Catholic News Agency columns are opinion and do not necessarily express the perspective of the agency.