The film bears little resemblance to a Conan Doyle story. This is a much darker, much more physical and less cerebral Holmes with a story that rehashes elements of many action flicks in memory, complete with a strongman giant and malevolent midget. Sadly, I had figured out the main mystery within a few frames of the resurrection of the bad guy.
I just cannot get into a kungfu fighting Sherlock, or the Num3ers slo-mo step by step methodologies showing Holmes’ brain at work. Whereas the heroine and her blackjack can take a villain out with one slap, it takes Downey and Law scores of blows and a hardware store to take out their opponents, ostensibly to drag out the overly long action scenes. Honestly, this reminded me of a combination of James Bond and the Wild Wild West in turn of the century London with little of the Holmes idiosycrasies in evidence.
Throw in the occult underbelly and overtones along with slaughterhouse and sewer scenes, and you could almost smell this film. How many films in recent memory have depended upon the presence of s secret society set to rule the world as it’s core malevolence attraction? Umm- there the Illuminati who are apparently everywhere in video games. Movies, comics, fiction, Freemasons as in National Treasure, Skull and Bones, Opus Dei and so forth. This is getting pretty tired. And speaking of tiresome, Robert Downey is in danger of becoming typecast as himself. Give me Jeremy Brett.