Hello I am the movie encyclopedia and if no one else will see it, I will.
I should hate this movie, I really should. I am a self-proclaimed Sherlock Holmes nut. I have read every SINGLE story about the man and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle has always been one of my favorite authors. Any movie or tv show or even shows that mimic Holmes attention to detail (The Mentalist, Case Closed, Psych) I love. So when I heard that Guy Ritchie, one of my favorite directors was making an action/mystery re-imagining of Holmes with Robert Downey Jr I was...happy. Yes, happy. While a lot of people have complained about its disregard for the original source material, I rejoiced. What a lot of people don't realize is that Holmes is a trained fighter. He knows martial arts, boxing and has been trained by Watson and others on pressure points and weak spots. He is even a trained fencer. But people don't like to think about that Holmes...all except Guy Ritchie. And he's all the better for that.
The story of Sherlock Holmes is hard to explain. If you know who he is than its a pretty simple plot: Holmes and Watson have just finished a case involving Lord Blackwood (Mark Strong), a man who was known for dabbling in the dark arts. Shortly after he is hanged however he apparently rises from the grave and starts killing more people. While this is happening Holmes must deal with Irene Adler, (Rachel McAdams) a former flame-ish (hard to explain), the one who literaly got away...twice. Adler has hired Holmes to find a man and in usual Holmes style it all ties together.
If you DON'T know who Sherlock Holmes is (you poor depraved person) he is a world class detective. He is strange, uses drugs, lives an almost Bohemian style of life, hard to get along with, smarmy, sarcastic, cynical, overly observant, a master fencer, fighter, and pistol user. He is highly knowledgeable in sensational literature, anatomy, chemistry and botany and has knowledge in most everything that is necessary to be a good detective. His seemingly only friend is Dr. John Watson, a war veteran and trained physician. They live together and solve crimes together.
This movie is great. Even for a devout Holmes lover like myself I find myself loving every minute. The back and forth between Holmes and Watson is great and their chemistry is wonderful. Downey does great as Holmes encompassing all of the great things that make Holmes Holmes and also putting a fresh and modern twist on him. Jude Law gives (in my opinion) his best performance ever as Watson and is highly enjoyable to watch. McAdams does well but is mostly there just to be pretty and Mark Strong does well as Blackwood, providing a decent, albeit brief villainous role.
Even if you don't like Sherlock Holmes or if you love Holmes you will find something to love in this film. Its visually stunning, funny, a thrill to sit through and I have already seen it twice in theaters and it still holds up even after you know the mystery.
So the solution to this mystery is elementary dear Watson: see this movie.
MY VERDICT: OWN IT