Robert Downey, Jr. Explains Guy Ritchie's "Holmes Vision"
12.26.09 by BrentJS
Director Guy Ritchie rose to fame with movies like Lock, Stock & Two Smoking Barrels and Snatch as much for his innovative direction and editing as for the intricate plots and colorful characters that populated those movies. In his latest picture, Sherlock Holmes, Ritchie employed a filming technique that the titular star, Robert Downey, Jr., said included "the strangest direction" that he "ever got on a film set."
Guy made it clear we were going to do something called Holmes Vision. You see Holmes’ vision of a punch before he delivers it and then you see the real thing. For the slow-motion fighting scenes, Guy used to tell me to try a take where I was punching through peanut butter.
In Ritchie's movie, as in the books by creator Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Holmes is an accomplished bare-knuckle boxer, something Ritchie had experience shooting previously in Snatch with Brad Pitt's memorable "pikey" character. For his part, Downey, Jr. said that portraying Holmes as a brawler wasn't much of a stretch for him as an actor.
I’ve been studying martial arts for the past six years and love bare-knuckle boxing. This was just a choreographed version of what I know how to do.
Sherlock Holmes also stars Jude Law, Rachel McAdams, and Mark Strong.