In 1890s London, Sherlock Holmes (Robert Downey Jr) and his trusty assistant Dr Watson (Jude Law) have just apprehended the murderous Lord Blackwood (Mark Strong), a master of the dark arts. He promises he will return from the dead and exact his revenge as he is being led to the gallows. After being executed, however, Blackwood rises from the dead to continue his wave of terror. Holmes must hunt the villain down while dealing with the unexpected return of former love Irene Adler (Rachel McAdams), a calculating American who still bewitches him.
First and foremost Robert Downey Jr. isn"t your great-grandfather"s Sherlock Holmes. Ritchie has turned the intellectual pipe-smoker into a Victorian England James Bond, torn and prepared for action. Holmes still possesses those intensive powers of observation and still has his little drug habit. Jude Law and the chaps from New Scotland Yard load up their handguns on the way to a bust. But too much of personal touch has also made Ritchie deviate from Doyle's masterpiece and make Downey Jr. look no Sherlock Holmes at all.
Ritchie delivers and lots of atmosphere in between brawls and shootouts but his desire to turn Conan Doyle"s detective into a complicated action hero is intriguing but it seems to fail miserably. There seems to be a lot of the disharmony between the characters of Downey Jr. and Law which weakens the movie. Donnew Jr. is unable to convince getting into the shoes of the iconic literary character. Rachel McAdams looks ravishing throughout and is one plus for the movie.
Sherlock Holmes ultimately feels like an excuse for high-energy action sequences rather than an attempt to breathe new life into a dusty literary icon. At 128 minutes the movie seems a shade too long with too many loopholes. Ritchie's flick is certainly not a Christmas treat perhaps some signles from Madonna might have done the trick. If you are one of those who grew up reading about Sherlock Holmes and admiring the detective this movie will only act as a disappointment.