To jump to the meat of the matter, if you are a fan of Sherlock Holmes, and don’t insist that a movie fit every particular of stories written for an audience from the 1890s, you should see this movie. You don’t need to read any further. Stop here, get in your car and go.
In this new Sherlock Holmes film we have an updated, original story, well tied in to the original stories and historical events in numerous ways. This is no massaging of one of Sir A. C. Doyles stories, but something new written for a modern audience, not taking itself too seriously, and weaving politics, drug habits, good old anti-social behavior and a couple of love interests in, resulting in a very fun take on Holmes.
The casting is nicely done, with a great lead part for Robert Downey, Jr, Jude Law as a nicely done Dr. John Watson, and Eddie Marsan as Inspector Lestrade. Almost across the board I found the actors/actresses nice fits for the characters.
The dark Victorian London backdrop sets the mood very well, and numerous small details of the times are very nicely worked in, such as the Central European immigrants and even the practice of copper sheathing ships that was popular at the time (yes, I’m a geek in many ways).
I hope we see a sequel or two.