In Victorian London, dandy detective Sherlock Holmes (Downey Jr) is shocked to learn his friend and assistant John Watson (Law) is to marry and move away. When the last criminal the pair collared disappears from his grave, however, Holmes has the perfect excuse to drag his old mucker back into the fray.
With the help of mysterious accomplice Reordan (Oran Gurel), and an interest in the occult, it appears the murderous Lord Blackwood (Strong) has risen from the dead. The game is afoot, as the intrepid detectives must use their considerable cunning to prevent Blackwood from striking terror into the hearts of Londoners once again.
Winning a Golden Globe for his turn as the eponymous detective, Downey Jr is fantastic in this barnstorming reboot of Arthur Conan Doyle's literary classic. An all-action Holmes, Downey Jr forms an appealing partnership with a suave Law as his Dr Watson. There's also a high calibre supporting cast in the form of Eddie Marsan (The Disappearance of Alice Creed), the feisty McAdams (The Time Traveler's Wife) and the excellent Strong (Kick-Ass), who almost threatens to steal the show.
Sherlock Holmes is Ritchie's highest-grossing film to date, with the director making a surprisingly easy transition from gritty Brit flick to big-budget blockbuster. Nevertheless, there are still elements of classic Ritchie here, from the bare-knuckle brawling scene to the Cock-erny wise-cracks that seem far removed from the deerstalker-wearing academic fans will know and love.
Oscar nominated for its art direction and Hans Zimmer score, Ritchie's Holmes is an atmospheric, entertaining romp, and with a sequel in the pipeline it looks as if there's plenty more to come