Sherlock Holmes (Downey Jr) and his loyal partner in crime-busting, Dr Watson (Law), find themselves up against the sinister Lord Blackwood (Strong) and his evil, apparently supernatural, plans. It's a situation complicated by the arrival of Holmes' ex-amour, the untrustworthy and dangerous Irene Adler (McAdams)...
Well, well, well... what a week!! I don't go to the cinema for months and then I go twice in 2 days!! In a way, I had to see this movie. For 2 reasons. The first being Guy Ritchie. I am a big fan of Snatch, RocknRolla and Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels (I haven't seen those other supposedly "bad" films he has done) and I really like his style. It is original in the way Edgar Wright is. The second reason is Jude Law. Now please do not roll your eyes! I happen to be a Jude Law fan. Yes he has done a lot of shit over the years, but in Cold Mountain, The Talented Mr Ripley and Enemy at the Gates he is amazing!
This is the first Ritchie-directed movie that he hasn't written (that I have seen anyway), a blockbuster and a family film. It feels weird connecting him to the film when there is no swearing or excessive violence (even my friend was surprised he had directed when I told her as we walked out of the cinema). But there are still little "feelings". Such as the gritty London setting. The landscape shots could have had better in the CGI department but this London had the feeling that The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen did (or as my father calls it: "the film that shall not be named!" Guilty pleasure unfortunately). According to wikipedia, some of the street scenes were filmed in Manchester, my home!! YAY!! Also, the bare-knuckle fighting that Holmes in involved in is the biggest hint of "Ritchie-ness" involved. But overall, this is the least Guy Ritchie film that Guy Ritchie has made. However, I reckon it is the plot that mainly sees to this. Ritchie's plots mainly involve ensemble casts with many interweaving sub-plots that either weave together very cleverly or can often be one sub-plot too far. But Sherlock Holmes is very simplistic. Yes there are a few twists and turns here and there but the plot is a bit thin on the ground.
Robert Downey Jr. has had one hell of a comeback hasn't he? I still have not seen Iron Man yet (but will do this week... I promise!) but he is definitely one of the greatest in the business at the moment. His performance as Holmes is just a pleasure to watch on the big screen. And his accent isn't too bad either! Jude Law hasn't had a great year with the tabloids but he hits back with a performance that is very different from other interpretations of Watson (well, so I've heard) with him being the heroic best mate rather than the bumbling one. He should stick to the "sidekick"/"supporting" role because he excels at it. The chemistry between the two brings out the comedy of the film. They are like an old married couple: bickering, getting on each other's nerves and what-not but at the end of the day, they would do anything for each other.
Mark Strong, teaming up with Ritchie again after his wonderful performance in RocknRolla, makes a sensational baddie. He has the voice for it too. And Rachel McAdams is always a pleasure to watch but I felt her screentime to be severely limited. And we didn't even see her Ann Summers underwear fashion show that was in the trailer. Makes you think about what else has been deleted. And its the same with Kelly Reilly. I really like her and she was barely in it!! GRRRR :P
6/10 - Overall its a wonderful start to what will hopefully be a franchise. It isn't Richie's best, but not his worst by a very very long shot. It is a funny, action packed film that is never boring, but often feels a bit flat.