Boy, am I glad, along with every other moviegoer out there, that Robert Downey Jr. had a comeback. He's a great actor who can do pretty much anything, though his specialty seems to be evoking just enough humor into the dramatic to make it seem real. Who hasn't been through something traumatic, laughing a little on the inside (ok, that sounds a little demented, but just follow me)? Guy Ritchie should also be thanking his lucky stars for Downey, because without him, Ritchie could have been facing yet another box office blunder. Rithchie's past (despite being married to Madonna) hasn't churned out that many hits, save the cult classic Snatch. This time around, though, thanks to a hefty budget, a superb script, and brilliant turns by Downey Jr. as the detective himself and Jude Law as his trusty sidekick, and best friend, Dr. Watson, Ritchie will be counting himself all the way to the bank and onto a franchise that should be as big as the Pirates or Iron Man franchises before it.
The film follows the well-known detective from Baker Street as he embarks on what should be a "simple" investigation. In fact, he figures it out pretty soon and the suspect is tried and sentenced to death. Even dear Dr. Watson proclaims the suspect dead after he is hanged. But, as Holmes and Watson's continue with their personal live, the previously thought-to-be-dead murderer somehow comes back alive, and escapes his own grave. And that's when the real adventure starts. It becomes a cat-and-mouse chase through London, with Holmes using his genius and smarts to figure it out. We also meet Irene Adler (Rachel McAdams) who becomes the femme fatale in this tale, as she is suspiciously linked to the enemy, while still being the love interest and victim.
The thing that keeps this from being your run-of-the-mill action movie is Ritchie's style and Downey Jr. and Law's chemistry. The humor in each scene keeps the picture, which is set in the 1800s, fresh and relevant to today, while still keeping with the past. And Ritchie's fervent style, such as scenes where the action is slowed down and you can see each fold in a persons skin move as they are being punched, is so exciting and enjoyable to watch. After each punch and jab, I almost felt like I had gotten hit. The cinematography and sets are an added bonus.
This is definitely worth fighting the packed theaters to see. Downey Jr. is very deserving of his Golden Globe nomination for it. And, for once, I'm not upset that they left it open at the end for a sequel, not just because they want to get more money, but because the story is so exciting, they can't wait to tell more.