In case you missed Guy Ritchie’s larky take on Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes on the big screen, now is the time to repent for your sins as this week it is out on DVD.
A magnificent melange of fisticuffs, daring detective work and a gigantic 8ft French buffoon, this comic attempt at a British classic is simply thrilling.
Robert Downey Jnr serves as the eccentric yet vulnerable Holmes who, along with his stalwart partner Dr James Watson (Jude Law), takes on the case of solving Lord Blackwood’s miraculous return from the grave.
Following his resurrection, Lord Blackwood seeks to gain control of the country by gassing all of those in the House of Lords that have not subscribed to his crackpot magical cult. A move that makes a hung parliament seem like quite an attractive prospect.
As expected Holmes and his sidekick Watson save the day, but their efforts are somewhat hindered by their playful squabbling as Holmes struggles to accept Watson’s forthcoming marriage. Well, that and the alluring charms of femme fatale Irene Adler (Rachel McAdams), an irritating bunch of freemasons and a toothless, ginger dwarf!
Sherlock Holmes is riddled with high-impact scenes as the plot unfolds amidst a furore of brawls, chases and magical illusions that sees Guy Ritchie return to form. The superb set and classic Ritchie semi-sepia colouring transforms the quick-witted, fast-paced film into a boisterous explosion of Victorian splendour.
Whilst the introduction to nemesis-to-be Dr Moriarty is slightly underplayed, the film finds a perfect balance between the classic traits of the traditional Sherlock Holmes and a sexed-up contemporary super sleuth that attracts a new generation of fans to Conan Doyles’s iconic character.
In the words of Holmes himself, the games afoot.