Eccentric consulting detective, Sherlock Holmes and Doctor John Watson battle to bring down a new nemesis and unravel a deadly plot that could destroy England.
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I appreciate Robert Downey\'s fast talking and thinking style. It makes sense for someone as smart and observant as Sherlock Holmes. It could suggest some kind of autistic or aspergers condition. I found it hard to relate with the character as an action hero though. He always seemed to symbolize deductive reasoning over any physical qualities.
The time is 1891, and the place is still London, but Ritchie can't be bothered with period details, especially dialogue. Noticing that the villainous Lord Blackwood (Mark Strong) has scratched bloody messages all over his filthy prison cell, Holmes quips, "Love what you've done with the place." Holmes scholars will cry their eyes out over this update from hell. Rachel McAdams is mere window dressing as a mystery woman from Holmes' past. In place of romance, we get cheesy computer effects (that collapsing bridge — please). Ritchie is all about the whooshing and headbanging, leaving no space between Holmes' words to savor their meaning. Downey is irresistible. The movie, not so much.
Review from the comment
Giving Guy Ritchie run over an icon like Sherlock Holmes is an interesting idea. Holmes pieces to date have largely been cerebral affairs, save Barry Levinson’s Young Sherlock Holmes in 1985. Ritchie takes the genius detective and makes him and his right hand man Watson into a duo of action heroes complete with pugilistic knowhow and gun fighting expertise. It is a fun romp though and not once did I roll my eyes. Robert Downey Jr. plays Holmes with a swift wit, offering his theories with rapid fire delivery that borderlines mumbling at times. I mean that in a good way. Jude Law as Watson does the straight man walk here very well, countering Holmes oddities to keep the film balanced. The story is a little much: Mark Strong is the evil leader of a secret society bent on a one world order where they rule the roost. Holmes and Watson are the key obstacles in the group’s plot. But as pure popcorn fare, Ritchie succeeds here and births a new franchise to keep an eye on.