On a dark night in London, Sherlock Holmes(Robert Downey Jr) runs through the secluded streets in pursuit. After finding a mysterious building, he breaks into it by attacking and disabling the guards. Inside the building, a caped man is performing a strange sacred rite where a woman is being sacrificed. Slowly and steadily, Holmes disables most of the villains protecting the caped man with the help of with Dr Watson(Jude Law), who appears on the scene to help. Within no time, the caped man is overpowered. The caped man turns out to Lord Blackwood(Mark Strong) who is arrested by the police Inspector Lestrade(Eddie Marsan).
After solving the Blackwood mystery, Holmes idles away his time at his 221 Baker Street home. Seeing the chaos in the house, Watson urges Holmes to take up a new case. Watson is also moving out of the partnership with Holmes in order to marry his girlfriend Mary Morstan(Kelly Reilly) and venture into business. Holmes resents Watson’s decision. Around this time, Blackwood requests a meeting with Holmes before the former is hanged until death. During the meeting, Blackwood accuses Holmes of unleashing a series of supernatural events. Being a scientific man, Holmes ignores Blackwood.
Soon, Holmes meets his old girlfriend Irene Adler(Rachel McAdams) asking him to search for a missing red-haired midget. Three days after Blackwood is hanged and buried, the tomb is broken into. After opening the coffin, Holmes, Watson and the police find the body of the red-haired midget. Holmes tries to solve this puzzle while not fully trusting Irene and battling his own convictions. For the first time, Holmes struggles to find answers with the help of science as supernatural events unfold around him.
Guy Ritchie directs this thriller and in the process, reinvented the man, Holmes which is different from previous adaptations. Guy Ricthie’s version is a very “visual” movie. This is evident at many places in the movie. When Sherlock Holmes explains the mystery, Guy Ritchie swiftly takes the viewer through the scenes while the explanation of Holmes serves as the voiceover. Using this technique, Guy Ritchie narrows down the perspective of the viewer and forces the viewer to see what the director wants to see. Guy Ritchie also scores on the scenes where the viewer gets to see how Sherlock Holmes plans his attack on his opponent before actually executing it. In the restaurant scene, Guy Ritchie show how Holmes is able to concentrate on single events and also multiple events depending on latter’s choice. In sum total, Guy Ritchie’s Holmes is cool!
Robert Downey Jr. redefines Holmes while enacting the lead role. Holmes is sharp and agile in accordance with the popular image. But, Robert Downey Jr. brings in an eccentric tinge to the character. In accordance with the eccentricity associated with the character, Holmes is always shabby in appearance in direct contrast to the earlier portrayals of Holmes by other actors.
Jude Law as an handsome and skeptical Dr Watson is a perfect foil for Holmes. He is not a bumbling idiot anymore. Though not a match for Holmes physically and mentally, Jude’s Watson is strong and sharp despite the limb.
The rest of the cast lends able support. The background score is excellent. It helps in building the suspense and the excitement.
This Holmes is a modern day adaptation and is cool. Don’t miss it.