Guy Ritchieâ€™s directorial adaptation of the classic tale of mirth and myth has taken beloved acting icons Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law and transformed them into the ultimate action-adventure duo this holiday season. The pair has a charming on-screen bromance, with Law playing the Robin to Downeyâ€™s Batman. Their easy banter and thoughtful companionship seem to come naturally. They are â€“ as my sister said in the very beginning â€“ â€œDelicious.â€ There is no better word for their combined product of good looks, grandeur, and ability. Men and women alike sat upright in their seats as the two men took the screen.
Unfortunately, the only proper accent in all of Ritchieâ€™s England comes from Law. Rachel McAdams, though visually captivating as the filmâ€™s sinister beauty, falls flat in terms of diction and delivery. As Irene Adler, she looks just a bit too young for Downey. Their chemistry isnâ€™t awful, just unlikely. The truth is that while they do look beautiful together, their sordid past seems too unrealistic at times. Her youth alone makes her an unbelievable adversary to Holmes, who is more sly and worldly than an audience would ever believe McAdams to be. She lacks the wicked spirit that is so crucial to her character.
Despite the handful of poor accents, the film proves to be a wild ride. The visual effects are stunning, making the 128-minute movie into a thriller with real integrity. Downey and Law undoubtedly do Holmes and Watson justice as an extremely well versed and handsome team. Shirtless and bleeding or dressed up and smirking, Robert Downey Jr. is a treat for both the eyes and the mind. Jude Law is nicely understated as Dr. Watson, a clever partner in crime for the impressive Sherlock Holmes. There partnership is very believable, based on a system of checks and balances. It feels something like watching todayâ€™s Dr. House and Wilson work together â€“ and adversely, work against each other â€“ in a way that is unique to best friends; itâ€™s a necessary coupling of obscure bad boy and devoted friend.
Luckily for McAdams and Downey, Sherlock Holmes does not rely all that heavily on romantic desire, but intrigue. The character of Holmes possesses such great mystique, an air of secrecy that infects all else. Whenever Holmes explores a potential move (as he does when heâ€™s about to render someone defenseless in a fight), the calculated play-by-play that results is just as fascinating as â€“ if not more than â€“ watching the actual event unfold. Holmes has a mind that is often both scintillating and pained. (One does seem to be a direct result of the other.
Cinematically, the movie progresses well. The plot straddles a line: easy enough to follow, but interesting enough to keep people mesmerized. Thatâ€™s the beauty of Sir Arthur Conan Doyleâ€™s masterful tale â€“ it leaves you with a great sense of magic and mischief, though it comes in the shape of a mere mortal. Robert Downey Jr. really captures the very essence of Sherlock Holmes. He saves the world, but loses the girl; he does the right thing, even when itâ€™s all wrapped up in wrong. That is the strange, dark beauty of both the action and the aftermath.