This is definitely not your father's version of Sherlock Holmes … or your grandfather's, for that matter.

The intensity and action of the opening ten minutes make that perfectly clear. Gone are Holmes' deerstalker hat and the stoic, reserved demeanor. Instead, we see the world's most famous detective racing through the dark streets in comparatively disheveled attire before engaging in some serious brawling action to apprehend the murderous occultist Lord Blackwood.

Would it surprise you to learn that this new Sherlock Holmes is just as true to the original stories by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle as any Basil Rathbone version, if not more so?

Holmes could be viewed as the late 19th century equivalent of a comic book superhero. His legendary deductive reasoning, his superb scientific skills, his gift for disguise, and his experience in martial arts and bare-knuckled street-fighting are all part of this status—and they're straight from Doyle's writings and all are faithfully depicted here. It's the energy behind the storytelling that's changed.

During the film, I thought that Holmes shares much in common with Batman—they even both have utility belts. And if the Dark Knight can survive different interpretations over his 70 years of comic book history, then why not a slightly different but still faithful take on Holmes after 120 years?

As for Robert Downey Jr.'s look as Holmes, Doyle describes him as "eccentric" and "bohemian"—both perfectly describe this new portrayal. In one scene, Holmes seems to use a hallucinatory drug to gain insight into his enemy's plan—also consistent with Doyle's depiction.

Watson here also differs from his traditional Hollywood portrayal. Doyle's stories never depicted him as the ...

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Sherlock Holmes
Our Rating
3½ Stars - Good
Average Rating
 
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Mpaa Rating
PG-13 (for intense sequences of violence and action, some startling images and a scene of suggestive material)
Directed By
Guy Ritchie
Run Time
2 hours 8 minutes
Cast
Robert Downey Jr., Jude Law, Rachel McAdams, Mark Strong
Theatre Release
December 25, 2009 by Warner Brothers Pictures
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