There is no doubt that Guy Richie’s spin on Sherlock Holmes took a beloved and notoriously stodgy character and made him exciting. The movie was entertaining and fun with interesting visual effects and absurdly great chemistry between Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law as the eponymous hero and his long suffering partner. Here’s the problem. Now, everyone and their grandmother in Hollywood is going to try to use the same formula. Take a sodgy, slightly boring classic and make it into an action packed blockbuster. I love Guy Ritchie and I’m not going to knock his formula because it worked and hopefully, it’ll work with the sequel too. But….”Anonymous” and “The Three Musketeers” make me a tad nervous.
“The Three Musketeers” is helmed by Paul W.S. Anderson, the man responsible for both the “Resident Evil” film series and the tragedy that was “AVP”. Explosions and gooey stuff see to be this man’s favorite mediums and action films are his genres. But, I”m not sure this is such a good idea for a man who hasn’t proven himself to at least be a stylistic visionary just yet. And although “Musketeers” has the incredible Oscar winner Christoph Waltz (Inglorious Basterds) and a few other really good character actors amongst the ranks, I’m not sure they’ll get as much screen time to make the film worth it. And as much as I love Milla Jovovich, anything with Orlando Bloom must be taken with a grain of salt. Besides, do we really need another version of the same story? Oh wait this one’s in 3D. Sorry but it’s still unnecessary.
That being said, I don’t think I’d mind seeing “Anonymous”. Roland Emmerich usually deals in big scale, apocalyptic type films but this time he’s approaching Oxfordian Theory. Okay….once again, I’m not quite sure about this but after perusing the cast, it’s pretty impressive. Vanessa Redgrave, Rhys Ifans, David Thewlis, and Sir Derek Jacobi as the narrator. Prestigious and known English actors. However, this film might not be in the same vein as the other two. The main reason, it’s been included is that the trailers market it as far less laborious than standard historical fare. Emmerich very well may have put some kind of vicious action in this film to make it more palatable for the masses, and to accurately portray England’s bloody history. But despite that, there aren’t too many films broaching this touchy subject of whether or not the man we have lauded for creating so many masterpieces were actually penned by Shakespeare. Apparently just the notion of this possibility has historians at odds and the theory itself has gained more support (or believers) in the past few decades. I just hope they didn’t approach the marketing the same way they did with “Drive”. Still, we’ll see.
Maybe these fears that Richie’s “Sherlock Holmes” has created a monster template for which Hollywood will now try to emulate are wildly unfounded. But, I’ve already read a few scathing reviews on “The Three Musketeers,” so it already isn’t looking good. It probably comes down to popcorn fodder versus a credible film. Stylized or not, only Anonymous gets a spot on my “To See” list.