Okay, so, I watched this film this morning for the first time, and thus I have Some Thoughts Upon It.
Generally, it was pretty good. Just that though, nothing more. “Pretty Good” is my verdict. There were lots of things that came together which were all good things, and came together to be… pretty good.
I liked Robert Downey Jr as Sherlock Holmes, I thought that was a good choice, as was casting Jude Law as Watson. They both did really, really good work. (Incidentally, this is the first, and thus far only, iteration of Sherlock Holmes where I’ve understood “shipping” the pair together. I got that subtext from here. Although only for about half the film.)
This film’s version of Irene Adler was, I think, a much better version than the one from Sherlock; not from the acting, but the relationship between her and Holmes was a better one in this film, I think. The rivalry-stroke-friends kind of thing, where they like each other, but not necessarily the way the other operates, and gravitate (?) between friends and enemies. I like that sort of relationship between characters. That’s how the Master and the Doctor should be portrayed, I think, and it’s similar ish to Clark and Lex in the middle seasons of Smallville.
(Also, speaking of Irene, there didn’t appear to be as many issues with her as the Sherlock version, though if there were, please someone point them out to me)
The other big thing was Mark Strong as Lord Blackwood, which I think was one of the best things about the film. In making him a more supernatural character, it gave the film a sort of Indiana Jones-y feel – our normal (ish) character, facing the unknown. So, yeah, that was pretty cool. It’s also, I think, quite unique to this film – it’s not really something Sherlock or Elementary could pull off, not really.
(Something that I didn’t initially notice, but saw on the Wikipedia page for the film, is that this is quite like The Hound of the Baskervilles; a potentially supernatural threat which is eventually explained away as natural.)
My one complaint about the film is that the first two thirds or so weren’t particularly engaging – and I think that’s why the film is only “pretty good” and not “pretty awesome” which it really could’ve been. I’m not sure why it wasn’t engaging – maybe it was just me, I suppose. But… I guess it’s because they were just “doing stuff” and not really getting to the heart of the issue, which was Lord Blackwood. So I suppose if the Supernatural aspect had been really played up a lot more, then it would have been a much better film.
Also, that shot of Lord Blackwood hanging from the partially assembled Tower Bridge should have been the closing scene. It was a pretty haunting image.