ACTION ADVENTURE; 2hr 8min
STARRING: Robert Downey Jr, Jude Law, Rachel McAdams, Mark Strong
The gang of three: from left, Law, Downey and McAdams
Director Guy Ritchie (RocknRolla) has lobbed a brand new broom through venerable British “consulting detective” Sherlock Holmes. Ritchie isn’t one to muck about, his gift to Holmes being not so much a shot in the arm as an explosive zap to the entire tradition. With Downey in the sleuth’s distinguished shoes, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s master of observation is a brawling, tippling fast-talker. He’s brilliant and barely stable in the genius-madness way of things — a right case himself, in other words, and a trial for his dapper friend and associate, Dr John Watson (Law).
The plot wheels spin like a sports car as Holmes and Watson investigate the wacky case of nefarious Lord Blackwood (Strong) who killed and killed through black magic, then apparently rose from the dead to menace the entire country. Downey, impish, dishevelled and deep, makes a tireless show-and-go man, while a dishy McAdams drops by as Holmes’s tricky sort-of girl, Irene Adler. This might be an antiquated London but its action stations are locked and loaded.