Holmes (Downey Jr.) and Watson (Law) have reached the end of their partnership. Watson’s getting married and, as a consequence, Holmes is feeling rather abandoned. Holmes uncovers an evil plot by their arch nemesis Professor James Moriarty (Harris) to break out a world war by escalating tensions between France and Germany. He owns both the weapon factories and the medicine factories and is out to create a market for them. Upon discovering that Moriarty intends to harm both Watson and his new bride, Holmes brings Watson back into the field one last time. Aided by Madam Simza (Rapace), a gypsy woman whose brother has become one of Moriarty’s main pawns, they set off to thwart his plan and save her brother.

Downey Jr.’s Holmes is another one of those cocky, eccentric characters that seem to be set aside for either him or Johnny Depp. And while Downey Jr. does a pretty good English accent, he’s pretty incomprehensible, which is unfortunate when he’s the one explaining the whole plot with all its twists. Now about those twists; while you sort of understand the logic behind them while the film’s playing, putting the whole plot together afterwards shows how messy it is. In hindsight, the twists are rather baffling until you realise that they’re just a way of connecting the action sequences together. However, on the plus side, the film is shot beautifully, which does distract you from the weird plot. The film has fun with the costumes especially in the scenes where Holmes works on a camouflage costume allowing him to blend in with the scenery. The dreary, blue palette is rather gorgeous and so is the liberal use of ultra slow motion.

The film is stuffed with fights. Both Holmes and Watson are equally well-versed in both martial arts and gun wielding to the point where they could probably take out an army if they were so inclined. Holmes plays out these elaborate schemes in his head where he plans out his exact moves before he goes ahead and knocks everyone out. This gimmick, while an effective portrayal of Holmes’ famed analytical side, does get slightly boring after the first few times. Watson and Holmes are a pretty badass duo; they just don’t have anything in common with the original characters, nor are they distinctive enough to establish themselves independently.

The best that can be said about this film is that it’s slightly more interesting than the first instalment. But other than that, it’s really just more of the same. Instead of the real Sherlock Holmes, we get some kind of psychotic, antisocial, mumbling genius who goes by the same name. It’s like an old-fashioned Bond film without the sex. All in all, they’re pretty generic characters for a pretty generic film.