- 1.78 : 1
- DTS Digital Surround 5.1
Guy Ritchie (Snatch, RocknRolla) attempts to reinvent one of the world's most iconic literary figures as an action hero in this brawny, visually arresting period adventure. Robert Downey Jr. is an intriguing choice for the Great Detective, and if he occasionally murmurs his lines a pitch or two out of hearing range, his trademark bristling energy and off-kilter humor do much to sell Ritchie's notion of Holmes. Jude Law is equally well-equipped as a more active Dr. Watson--he's closer to Robert Duvall's vigorous portrayal in The Seven Per-Cent Solution than to Nigel Bruce--and together, they make for an engaging team. Too bad the plot they're thrust into is such a mess--a bustling and disorganized flurry of martial arts, black magic, and overwhelming set pieces centered around Mark Strong's Crowley-esque cult leader (no Professor Moriarty, he), who returns from the grave to exact revenge. Downey and Law's amped-up Holmes and Watson are built for the challenge of riding this roller coaster with the audience; however, Rachel McAdams as Holmes's love interest, Irene Adler (here a markedly different character than the one in Arthur Conan Doyle's "A Scandal in Bohemia"), and Kelly Reilly as Mary Morstan, the future Mrs. Watson, are cast to the wind in the wake of Ritchie's hurricane pace. One can imagine this not sitting well with ardent Sherlockians; all others may find this Sherlock Holmes marvelous if calorie-free popcorn entertainment, with the CGI rendering of Victorian-era London particularly appealing eye candy. --Paul Gaita
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