It feels as though Guy Ritchie has spent the last couple years sitting in the corner as punishment for Swept Away, but now he’s back and he’s brought the awesome power of Robert Downey Jr.’s charisma with him! Downey plays Holmes along side Jude Law as the ever reliable Watson and Rachel McAdams who plays an unnecessary love interest for the detective. Ritchie brings speed and humor and style to what otherwise might be a dull and methodical movie.
Ritchie’s Holmes is a two-fisted pugilist whose over active brain is ill at ease in public places, reading everybody’s behavior like a book at all times. The truth of the movie is that is nothing more than a bro-mance, the greatest gay love affair since Brokeback Mountain and McAdams’ role is simply constructed to dissuade people from drawing such a conclusion.
The movie has a villain and a mystery, but all of that is superfluous to the plot which really all about Holmes coming to terms with his best friend (Watson) leaving him to get married. The two share many little smiles and knowing glances together and it gives the movie an extra depth that is appreciated. McAdams is definitely the weakest link in the cast and story as she is nothing more than a beard for middle America to cower behind. Her performance, usually good is somewhat cardboard here as she doesn’t seem to quite fit. Of course that could also be due to her co-stars who raise the bar fairly high.
The movie has all the staples of Conan Doyle’s detective without a silly hat and the phrase, “The game’s afoot!” Not a perfect movie, but worth watching!