How fitting for an intelligent hero (Sherlock Holmes) to emerge in theaters on Christmas to dispel silly superstition. Guy Ritchie did a great job portraying this master detective based on the actual Doyle stories and did not rely on the old Holmes movies. In other words, this movie was a good adaptation, not a remake ten times over. He made Holmes more than an and focused on the crime fighter that Doyle intended.
I especially enjoyed the visuals, including London with its filthy unpaved roads and the flat at 221B as it probably should look with two bachelors living there, especially with one having an intensely curious mind. I liked how the movie focused on ’s ability to fit in with criminals as well as his ability to fight—both of which are hinted at many times in the fifty plus stories written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. I like too how Ritchie dispensed with the curved pipe and deerstalker hat, neither of which really is mentioned much in the stories. The violin was a big part of Holmes' stories, and I like how he strummed the instrument in the movie while thinking about his cases. Something a thinking person would do.
Holmes could have used the newsies in this movie like he did in the stories, but maybe that will be left for when he takes down Moriarty in the sequel. Maybe this will be a "threequel" because Moriarty is supposed to kill Sherlock in Switzerland, which would be a good cliff-hanger to move into the third movie (literally since Sherlock and Moriarty are supposed to die while throwing each other off a cliff into a huge waterfall).
Finally, this was cast in an interesting way. The actor who played Lord Blackwood ( ), and even Jude Law, have physical features more identifiable with Holmes and they may have thought they were going to play the role when hired for the film. Instead, Ritchie cast an unlikely actor, American Robert Downey, Jr. This worked because Downey comes across as a mind that it always busy. Downey might also relate to Holmes’ drug addiction, which was not shown in this movie but is hinted at (sloppy apartment, disheveled appearance, experiment of drugs on dog, bored when not working, etc.)
The music in the movie was up-tempo and musical, suggesting a busy mind. The plot was a lot like the plot of The DaVinci Code, but the feel was right for Holmes. One of my favorite aspects of the Holmes’ stories was that there was always a mystical element thrown in (like X-Files). Doyle was a spiritualist and brought a certain otherworldly darkness to the mysteries, until Sherlock’s keen brilliance illuminated all the swindles and schemes, just as he did in this movie.
Critics who do not like the movie usually say that it is not in keeping with Holmes and that Sir Arthur Conan Doyle would not recognize his hero. I disagree. Critics with these views base their opinions on older movies which were also based on older movies. If you want another good Sherlock Holmes movie that is more true to the original stories, watch "The Hound of the Baskervilles." These movies have tension between Holmes and Watson, which add an element of intrigue.