It took longer than I had wanted it to, but I finally got to see Sherlock Holmes.
Final verdict: both DVD and Hans Zimmerman soundtrack are going into my meager Sherlock Holmes film collection. Stop now to avoid any potential spoilers.
Physically Robert Downey Jr. isn't the Great Detective, but he more than made up for that with his manic/depressive cycles and plucking at the violin as a thinking aid. I would have liked to see actual playing, but we can save that for the sequel. And the fighting. :D
Jude Law as Dr. Watson, Super Army Doctor! On a whole, I enjoyed this take on Dr. Watson, his military bearing and doctor skills were both used. And he has learned some of Holmes's deductive skills and can keep up with most of Holmes' train of thought. However, my forehead slapping moments also concerned him. One, no evidence whatsoever of the injuries that ended his army career and it is supposed to be fairly early in the Holmes/Watson partnership. Two, he gets wounded in the course of the case at the very least requiring stitches across his shoulder. Yet after this moment, he is in the thick of the fight knocking baddies around without any repercussion. Good lord, Watson heals like Wolverine!
Eddie Marsan as Inspector Lestrade: this is another role that usually goes to the extremes. Lestrade is often portrayed as an out-an-out enemy that Holmes runs circles around or idiotic comic relief. This Lestrade isn't stupid, and calls on Holmes when he knows he can't figure it out. But it is so underplayed that when he has to act for the bad guys, you know he'll be invited to drinks at 221B Baker Street for an explanation of the case.
Rachel McAdams as Irene Adler: perfect characterization and perfect performance. And I am so copying all of her clothes. Well, okay probably not the dressing gown. But the dresses and her waistcoat and trouser action wear are awesome!
The romantic angles are where a few puzzles remain. While it is canon that Watson marries Mary Morstan, she was Holmes' client in "The Sign of Four." The movie acts like that case never happened and Holmes has never met the lady who he feels is stealing Watson away (which actually isn't played to a slash level). It makes me shake my head, but I'm willing to let it slide because she shows her temper so well as a proper lady.
Irene Adler and Holmes is a bone tossed to the fandom. Honestly though, I think the Irregulars who don't ship this pair on some level are vastly outnumbered. There are a couple of key pieces of dialogue between her and Holmes that intrigue me. She tells him that she got their old room at the hotel. *Eyebrow raise* Okay, intimate relations already? Then after the climax of the film and tells him who her client is and how she has no choice but to work for him. "Everyone has a weakness. He found mine." And then the look she gives him could be read as "you're my weakness and he threatened you (which does happen)" or....
One of the more popular fanon items is that Irene Adler and Holmes had a son. Who grew up to become Nero Wolfe or someone else depending on which pastiche is your favorite. So what has my nose twitching, does the son already exist?