3/05/2009 3:42am, #1
MA action in new "Sherlock Holmes" movie
After they finished that set-up, they moved onto the next scene where Holmes and Watson burst in to face Blackwood's thugs dressed in gray suits and bowler hats, taking two of them down before a third one walks in from the direction of the altar with a gun. At first the fight sequence was being set-up using Downey and Law's stand-ins with someone on set shouting "Bang! Bang!" to emulate the gunshots. The gunned goon is taken down in short order by Watson, who picks up the gun and points it at Blackwood, saying to Holmes, "After you."
We were all taken aback when we realized that Downey and Law had replaced their stand-ins so seamlessly we weren't even sure it was them. Especially surprising was how unrecognizable Law was as Dr. Watson, merely by giving him a moustache and sideburns, but he also looked fierce and intense while fighting, compared to Downey, who seemed a little more laid back about being in danger. There's not a lot to say about the fight scene except that the two men used a combination of boxing and martial arts with Downey wielding two single sticks as his weapon and Watson using his cane. We watched the duo fight the goons over and over again from a lot of different angles and camera contraptions to create Ritchie's distinctive visuals. Towards the end, they were doing extreme close-ups of the two actors fighting using handheld cameras, and one can expect that Ritchie will find a way to cut together all of these disparate shots to create something true to his trademark filmmaking style.
Downey Jr.: Yeah, I think the thing is you realize what bits you've been pretending worked since you were in rehearsal, and now that you're shooting, you just realize it doesn't really work, it doesn't sell, or for this angle it's no good. It's all that stuff that you can get to be all Testosterone Teddy about, but it's also... I think what's really smart this time around anyway is that the fighting styles of Holmes and Watson feed into the real archetypes of who their characters are and what their background is.
Law: Well, there are a lot of clues in the books when you go back to the kind of men they are and the sort of attributes they have acquired, there are these suggestions of Holmes' studying of Zen pugilism and martial arts because Watson talks about that, and then Watson's experience as a soldier in Afghanistan and India, slightly more brawling, something more bruising.
Downey Jr.: Yeah. Baritsu they call it, which really was no such thing, it was "bartitsu" which meant single stick fighting.Check out the Bullshido.net Western Martial Arts Forum for all things Western, martial and arty.
Bartitsu: the Gentlemanly Art of Self Defence (est. 1899)