Sherlock Holmes: Special Effects
Some times I wish I could look at a specific earring on a woman or a dust smear on a man’s coat and tell where they got the earring from or where they have been spending their nights out on the town. This is called inductive reasoning and Sherlock Holmes is a boss at it. Sherlock Holmes is a movie based on inductive reasoning with a splash of adventure and intensity. The special effects used in Sherlock Holmes are sneaky but if you pay close attention, they make you feel as if you are in the moment of action.
Sherlock Holmes, played by Robert Downey Jr., is a peculiar yet very intelligent man of research and of vision. In this movie, Downey takes on the role of Holmes to catch a murderous villain, Lord Blackwood. Throughout this movie, Holmes is faced with mystery after mystery, clue after clue, and conflict after conflict to try and catch this manipulative man. Right from the beginning, Holmes is approaching a point of interest that has led him to another clue. In this scene, there is a man standing guard where Holmes will be walking through. Of course, Holmes knows this loser is standing in his path. So, what does Holmes do? He plans his attack in his mind, punch by punch, knowing the enemy’s every move and attempt to attack him. This is the first special effect we see. I am not sure any man can plan a fight, to the “T,” in his mind, before it ever happens. If there is a man like this, I want his e-mail address and maybe even his SnapChat name… I digress. Along with this fight scene, there is yet another street/gamble fight Holmes is involved in that goes into even deeper detail. Let me explain because it is just that cool. In this gambling fight, the same process as the first quarrel happens, but, not in a weird way, the men fighting have no shirts on so there is more emphasis on the punches and attacks… Although Downey does have an athletic build, but that is beside the point. In this slow-motion plan of attack, as Holmes is attacking his enemy, the emphasis and detail on the skin being punched is so radical that you almost feel the pain being inflicted on the enemy, as it is happening. As it says in Everything’s an Argument, “Images can bring a text or presentation to life. Sometimes images have the power to persuade by sheer pathos” (452). I believe this statement is true regarding this fight scene. It impacts you in such a powerful way that you almost feel the character’s pain.
Moving on to another one more scene that I believe has great special effects is the scene with Holmes and his partner, Watson, on a boat dock that is exploding. If anyone has ever shot a gun or heard a cannon blast, we know that it numbs our hearing capacity and discontinues our ability to answer our phone for quite some time, which in some cases is the end of the world for some people… Anyway, as this scene progresses, the first explosion that appears, we can actually hear. We hear the initial “boom.” But the awesome thing about the rest of the scene is that all we can hear is that loud ringing noise, like that of the gunshot or cannon. This special effect sequence gives the audience an opportunity to use their imagination in what they think the explosions are sounding like. Thus, this gets us that much more involved in the movie because we are filling the gaps of soundless explosions. Pretty awesome, in my opinion.
All in all, from the psychic-like slow motion fight scenes to the soundless explosions, the special effects in Sherlock Holmes are quite intriguing. I truly think that the use of these effects had a fantastic approach and outcome in this movie. Plus it helps that this movie is in my top three favorite movies…