Now I have never seen the original movies, nor have I read any of his books. The extent of my Holmes knowledge comes from the wonderful world of pop culture, combined with old cartoons and the like (such as the Sherlock Holmes in the future cartoon that was on T.V. a long time ago). I went in to this knowing the basics i.e. super smart, pipe, Elementary Watson, etc, etc, nothing more nothing less. On to the movie.
We are introduced to Holmes (Robert Downey Jr.) as he details his plans to incapacitate a lowly lackey. The detailing done in this scene set the stage for future encounters that Holmes has. After a few brutal ass whoopings inside an old tomb we meet Watson (Jude Law) who seems throughout the movie’s course that he could be his own movie star.
The plot details an evil lord’s plan to take down the British empire and rebuild it; world domination, in short. He uses “magic” to obtain his goals and other wild feats, something Holmes refuses to accept and is insistent in finding the logical reasoning behind. I will stop there, so not to give away many details within the story.
As far as acting is concerned, the cast seemed to do a superb job in bringing to life the characters. Robert Downey Jr plays Holmes as somewhat of an eccentric genius tormented by his abilities of deduction and logic, rather than by drug use. Jude Law brings the sidekick Dr. John Watson into the light and does a crack job portraying the “voice of reason” as well as the keeper to Holmes. Rachel McAdams plays the counter to Sherlock, Irene Adler. British actor Mark Strong portrays the sinister Lord Blackwood, a son of a powerful man hell bent on ruling England and taking back America in the name of his country.
The movie was action packed, and may not appeal to hardcore Holmes fans. Nonetheless some of the more minor details throughout the film help keep it on track. As things progress, Holmes makes several small inquiries about seemingly meaningless things. Most of these are silent and depicted very briefly. During the end of the film, Holmes begins his conclusion of the case and these seemingly meaningless scenes help to fill in the puzzle. I thought the deduction scenes were well placed and helped the story as a whole. Holmes’ battle of wits with his female counter Irene also add more depth to the movie, revealing a sub plot that will no doubt lead to sequels in the future.
Bottom line is this, die hard or not, if you’ve seen all the old films or read all the novels this movie has something that will appeal to you. While a very action packed movie, Holmes never moves far from Sherlock being a master sleuth and logical genius. Watson is the faithful companion and care taker of Sherlock during the exploits the go through in the movie and in the end the master deduction of Holmes bring about the closing of one more case in an ever growing stack of mysteries.
Final Score: 8/10