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Sherlock, Homo?

When we think of Sherlock Holmes, the literary character, “sexy” is hardly the first things that comes to mind. But in Sherlock Holmes, the movie, it’s impossible not to think of all the ways we want to be investigated by the star detective and his able hot-bodied assistant, Dr. Watson.

As portrayed by Robert Downey, Jr., Holmes has all the quirkiness and depth you’d expect from the actor, bringing a whole new level of charm, vice and neurosis to the character.

But it’s his relationship with Watson (Jude Law) that is most curious, indeed. There’s far more sexual tension between these two than Holmes and the bland Rachel McAdams (though thank God director Guy Ritchie divorced Madonna before he made Sherlock Holmes). We presume McAdams is there to fill the love-interest role, but for us the real deal is between the two co-workers who bicker and finish each other’s sentences like an old married couple. (Or more like a hot, gay civil-unioned couple.)

The action is intense and the way director Ritchie reveals the keen observational skills of Holmes is clever and satisfying. No detail goes unexplained and each scene plays out like CSI: Victorian England.

Much of the action seems anachronistic, though they try hard to explain how massive explosions and chemical weapons in the Victorian era are perfectly plausible. But it doesn’t matter. This is a modern take on an old-fashioned icon with a kick-ass interpretation that’s just the jolt of adrenaline needed to turn this into the smart man’s action movie, not to mention a great franchise vehicle for Downey.

With many more adventures to be had, our fascination is no longer elementary. It’s practically obsessive.

Opens Today
Starring: Robert Downey, Jr., Jude Law, Rachel McAdams and Mark Strong
Directed by: Guy Ritchie
Written by: Michael Robert Johnson, Anthony Peckham and Simon Kinberg, based on characters by Arthur Conan Doyle
128 minutes