Director Guy Ritchie has an old detective story to thank for being the vehicle that finally showed him some box office success.  Sherlock Holmes, starring the versatile actor Robert Downey, Jr., came out swinging and is another impressive character for Downey to add to his expansive resume.

The recent retelling of the famous detective focused on Holmes and his sidekick Dr. Watson (Jude Law), as they try to solve the mysterious reemergence of presumed dead criminal, Lord Blackwood (Mark Strong).  Hanged after performing black magic on citizens of the town, Blackwood is determined to take control of the world with his powers.

Holmes is also faced with the appearance of Irene Adler (Rachel McAdams), a self-professed criminal, with whom he has a lengthy past.  Adler has more than one reason for reappearing in Holmes’ life and she may end up causing more harm than even she realizes.

Downey is a once in a lifetime kind of actor.  He has the ability to play any role thrown at him and with exquisite grace.  His turn as Holmes gave him the opportunity to play an iconic literary character.  He is charismatic, sarcastic and utterly enjoyable to watch in this role. 

Downey and Law have a remarkable chemistry onscreen as well.  They played off each other and made it appear effortless.  Law is an intriguing actor, himself.  He definitely held his own against the genius that is Downey.

The production value of this film is admirable.  The set designer went for broke trying to make this time period come alive.  The costumes, scenery and everything in between was done brilliantly.  When a film is able to take the background and surroundings and make them a character in themselves, it only adds to the dimension of the film.

I have mixed feelings on McAdams in this role.  She pulled it off, but I can’t help but think someone else may have worked better.  She had a decent amount of chemistry with Downey, but I hoped for more.  If her character shows up in the sequel, perhaps there will be more developed between the two.

Downey has another franchise on his hands with this film.  The story is amusing and the action is also exciting.  Ritchie does a great job showcasing the violent scenes mixed in with actual story.  This is definitely a film worth checking out.