Holy crap, I loved it. How is it the trailers made it look like a loopy goof-ball fest three light-years remote from anything Holmesian (not to mention the sort of comedy I'd never want to see) and yet the film itself was glorious homage to everything Holmes? Holmes, Watson, Baker Street, all of it felt like Conan Doyle was leaning right over the screenwriter's shoulder saying, "Oh, yes, very nice, that's the sort of thing they'd do; could we have a bit more of that slo-mo, please? I quite like that."
Sometimes I'm happy I didn't really see any of RDJ's filmwork until Iron Man. It means I never had to care about his personal life or his career until he swooped in with that film and carried me off. On the other hand, I'm thrilled I've followed Jude Law since his early days so I can find the young hottie that still hides under that prim little mustache. Why do I feel like such a traitor for loving the bromance of Holmes and Watson just as it was, rather than scurrying after the slash? Not that the slash wouldn't be delicious. It was like Lord of the Rings all over again, with guylove so prevalent and unashamed it didn't matter if there was nooky or not.
And I hated Irene so much; it was wonderful. God, what a marvelous, nails-on-the-chalkboard irritating character she was. The sort of woman who makes other women say, "What on earth could any man see in that malignant twit?" And yet you know they can't help themselves, and it makes you crazy. Makes the men who can't get her out of their system just as crazy, because they can see how toxic she is too. She's there to make things worse for your protagonist, and no one actually wants to see her sliced in two on a slaughterhouse saw; you just want her gone. Perfectly done.
One of the best tricks the film played with me was its fake-out butchery of Lestrade's character, which gave me a yowl of, "Wait, canon-geek NOT cool with this." When Lestrade gave Holmes that I've-been-wanting-to-do-that punch, I thought, "You know, that looked kind of like a fake hit." Which of course was because it's a MOVIE, they're ALL fake punches, duh, except except! The idea that it was a fake punch that was supposed to look like a real punch except just barely not...okay, my brain is still breaking on how multi-layered that moment was. Loved it.
And just about the time I was saying, "Well, okay, I guess this is going to turn out to be a supernatural film after all," five minutes later I was realizing, no, no it wasn't, and the glee was going to be in watching the film unravel the mystery to show that. These are the kinds of fake-outs that make me want to see more movies.
I'm going to watch it again.