I am not a Baker Street Irregular; I have no detailed knowledge of the life and adventures of the consulting detective Sherlock Holmes. I only know the basics. I know he lived on Baker Street in 19th century London; I know his friend and companion was one Dr. Watson; I know his lifelong enemy was Professor Moriarty; and I know Holmes valued logic and observation above all else, taking such to extremes that we find almost supernatural today. Bits and pieces, here and there. Drug abuse. His brother Mycroft.
But I know enough to identify some creative additions in Guy Ritchie’s and Robert Downey Jr.’s interpretation of “Sherlock Holmes”.
First, in the modern movie, he’s far more physical than I recall him being in the past. A rough-knuckled, manic-depressive, substance abuser. Can’t remember the last actor who had to have a six-pack to portray the detective.
Second, from what I remember, Watson was nearly always much older; a harrumph-ing white mustached sort of chap. So having Jude Law play him feels like a change. A change for the better, I think. It puts the two characters’ friendship into the realm of bromance.
I gotta be honest with you, Marge, I would watch Robert Downey Jr. in anything. He’s one of a handful of actors that I find captivating. So it was a forgone conclusion that I would enjoy “Sherlock Holmes”.
But Guy Ritchie’s direction gives London such a gritty, realistic look, and the proper bantering between Holmes and Watson, and even the addition of a love interest for Holmes, the scandalous Irene Adler (Rachel McAdams)… The movie was great fun, even if the actual mystery, involving a Satan worshipping nobleman, was a bit of a letdown.
Still, if you dig brass-and-glass fittings, and Victorian clothing, and cobblestone streets, this is the movie for you.