In theory, the combination of Guy Ritchie and Sherlock Holmes really shouldn't work. The former is a purveyor of foul-mouthed cockney crime capers that often star former footballers, and the latter is one of literature's great intellectuals - a genius whose intellect is matched only by his masterful insight into the human condition.
And yet somehow, in practice, it works; Ritchie succeeding in crafting a new spin on the Sherlock Holmes legend while at the same time remaining true to the spirit of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's original creation.
Proceedings kick-off at break-neck speed, with Holmes and his trusted sidekick Watson arriving at the church of St. Bartholomew the Great just in time to save the life of a damsel in distress. The latest in a series of brutal, ritualistic and seemingly sacrificial murders, the would-be killer appears to be the dastardly Lord Blackwood, whom the dynamic duo foil and hand over to the police.
But all is not as it seems, and Blackwood is soon making threats that his death at the hangman's noose will only be the beginning. When the 'Dark Lord' appears to make good on this promise by returning from the other side to execute his fiendish plan, fear grips London, and Holmes and Watson embark on an adventure that, as Blackwood puts it, will "twist the very fabric of nature."
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