Thamizh cinema viewers must be intimately familiar with Ritchie's movie technics as almost all thamizh movies have liberally begun to copy/employ it since the day Kaakha Kaakha borrowed it from Lock Stock & 2 Smokin Barells. It is the cramming of multiple frames within a few seconds to accelerate the screenplay. It helps Ritchie give us flashback, context, thrills, surprise and every thing else he can think of. In this movie he attempts to give Holmes a reckless cavalier flavor that Pierce Brosnan/ Bruce Willis effectively did in Remington Steele/Moonlighting. Watson gets to do counterfoil a'la a Stephanie Zimbalist/Cybill Sheperd - by playing a by-the-book, disciplined character who is always around to save their counterpart's ass.
I wouldn't blame Ritchie for rebooting Holmes in this fashion. Jeremy Brett, my favorite Holmes, played Holmes with a kind of unmatched style, verve and passion that it is hard for any movie to beat that game. Brett was the closest an actor could come to playing Doyle's holmes. And Brett was still far away from the real thing. Holmes is not movie material. As most of the thrill that people get from reading Holmes is his deductive thought process. Hardly something that can be replicated on screen without making the movie look like a documentary. If Ritchie has to side step a key value prop, he needs to fill the gap with a lot of action masala gimmicks. And he does that with moderate success.
This movie wasn't bad but I'm hoping for a better sequel.