Robert Downey, Jr. takes to his role (as Jack Sparrow’s obsessive compulsive brother) brilliantly, with a strange but “syoot-able” accent. I was also shocked at how the film managed to make Jude Law much less punchable, maybe even…Likeable.
The story is just good enough, but the humour and dialogue (save a few questionable moments) really carry the film. This is in large part due to the rapport between Holmes and Watson.
It’s worth mentioning that the ending hits totally the wrong note. It should have been a Batman Begins-esque exclamation point, not a whimper.
The action is fun, but a good portion of it is directed and edited in that horrible twitchy camera “let’s just focus on some flailing arms rather than actually seeing what they’re doing”.
It’s also a shame that Holmes’ analysis and prediction in fights, never comes up again. It felt like it was building to something, rather than just being a gimmick to be used twice.
With regard to the visuals, there’s a dreadful over-reliance on obvious CG. It’s perfectly reasonable for the London skylines (and some gloriously detailed debris), but it’s used unnecessarily in several scenes. There’s genuinely a part near the end of the film where a piece of wood hangs tied by rope – rendered in CG. Rope and wood. These are not things that require Industrial Light & Magic to film!
You may also have to get over the grey/brown colour palette. I know it’s England, but there’s something strange about the least dreary scene in the film being set in a graveyard.
Overall, Sherlock Holmes is big, it’s loud, it’s not that clever, but it doesn’t bore and is an enjoyable way to spend two hours. I’d recommend waiting for it to be on TV rather than seeking it out.