Does everyone else remember the summer of 2008? When the first Iron Man came out, and people were ecstatic about how great Robert Downy Jr., was as Tony Stark, and then like two months later he showed ridiculous range in Tropic Thunder (while also doing a cool riff on his dad’s classic indie film, Putney Swope) and then like a year later Guy Ritchie’s Sherlock Holmes adaptation came out, and RDJ was great in that, too?
It looked like the beginning of an incredible career resurgence for RDJ—and then the MCU happened, and it all worked even better than we’d hoped! But after a decade of Iron Man, we were excited to see what big project RDJ would tackle for his first big post-Stark role. Would he go prestige drama? Indie? Over-the-top comedy a la Tropic Thunder?
Or… would he cobble together a collection of his Holmes’ tics—with an accent that veers wildly between “the one he used in Restoration,” “almost-Jack-Sparrow,” and “not-quite-Mrs.-Doubtfire”—and valiantly attempt to portray a depressed, grief-stricken widower in a scene where a polar bear and an ostrich argue in voices provided by Kumail Nanjiani and John Cena?
Join me, on a perilous journey: an attempt at reviewing Dolittle.