Teaming Robert Downey Jr. as Holmes, the intellectual sleuth, Jude Law as his loyal sidekick, Dr. Watson, and Rachel McAdams as Adler, is a winning combination. Rapid-paced, dry humor runs throughout the film, which is set in London’s dark, latter 19th century.
The pursuit of world power leads Lord Blackwood, portrayed coldly by Mark Strong, into the practice of the dark arts. Pursuit of the occult leader leads Holmes, Watson and Adler into the sewers of London.
Loosely based on Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s classic book series, Guy Ritchie directed with the clear intention of creating a franchise, including numerous sequels. Downey and Law play off each other brilliantly, creating a co-dependant relationship and showing their weak links and strengths, which keep them together. Sharp-witted and beautifully flawed, the men need each other, manipulating the situation to grow and strengthen themselves and each other.
A solid cast, including the minor roles, and a screenplay written in a fast-paced, modern style, create a movie worthy of seeing a second time. Standing alongside the computer-generated movies out currently, the throwback to an earlier time is refreshing for moviegoers craving fewer futuristic special effects and a stronger, well-written story line.
Apparently a divorce from pop singer Madonna works for Ritchie, whose latest endeavor seems organized and on target for its audience.
Bottom line: Downey, Law, McAdams – not since Newman, Redford and Ross in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969) has there been a trio this perfect.
This post was originally published under "Gotta Go" in the West Side Community News in Indianapolis, and the West Indianapolis Community News. Elizabeth J. Musgrave is a syndicated columnist, travel writer, performing arts and restaurant critic. Catch her as Indy’s Arts & Entertainment Adviser on 93 WIBC, and follow her on Twitter @GottaGo and Facebook. Gotta Go is published in M magazine and the following newspapers: South Sider Voice, Indiana Weekender, New Palestine Reporter, Pendleton Times Reporter and Fortville-McCordsville Reporter.