If there exists another film, TV show, or book that makes deductive reasoning and Victorian era procedural investigations as invigorating as the new Sherlock Holmes does, then I am sorely missing out. Don't get me wrong. I've always loved the character in all of his incarnations, but Guy Ritchie's film is positively bursting with an energetic infatuation with the classic logician that is so infectious that by the 10 minute mark only the most prickly purists around will be able to resist its considerable charms.
In retrospect, this should come as no surprise. After a string of indelible, charismatic performances across a wide array of genres, Robert Downey Jr. seemed a perfect match for the curious sleuth. RocknRolla broke director Ritchie's dry spell, announcing a return to form for the man who created Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels and Snatch. The supporting cast filled out nicely, particularly Jude Law fitting the bill as Holmes' partner in anti-crime, Watson, whilst the first trailers looked to promise an enjoyable, unique romp around the back alleys of Victorian London. And yet with as many good omens as Warner Brothers had in their corner, few outsiders could have predicted just how harmonious the entire production would come together. It may be the last major studio film to release in 2009, but in due time Sherlock Holmes will outshine most of the big-budget, CGI-heavy studio tent-pole films of the past summer.