Early this year, when MTV News visited the New York set of "Sherlock Holmes," Robert Downey Jr. promised that his take on the masterful inspector would emphasize brawn as much as brains.
"He's a total badass," the Oscar nominee said. "He thinks through all eventualities, possibilities and counterattacks when he's fighting, so he actually has the fight worked out before he starts."
The brand-new exclusive "Sherlock" trailer that MTV News debuted on Wednesday (November 4) makes that commitment to badassery abundantly clear. There are gunfights, sword fights, fistfights, lovers' fights and fights involving electrocution. There are explosions, near-death experiences and horse-carriage races that seem to top out at Ferrari-level speeds.
Yet director Guy Ritchie argues that "Sherlock," which hits theaters on December 25, is a movie fit not only for adrenaline junkies but for all tastes and age groups. "That's really the idea — for it to be a family movie," he said. "It has dark moments, but it's accessible. I'm a dad, and I want to go to my movies with kids as well."
What's also very cool, and what we haven't seen to this extent in earlier "Sherlock Holmes" footage, is the film's presentation of late-19th-century London. Ritchie's city is not the sanitized version you often get in big-screen period pieces. This London showcases murky waters and sooty back alleys — a rapidly growing urban landscape almost bursting at the seams. The famous Tower Bridge, here in mid-construction, becomes a key set for action sequences.
The trailer leaves the plot details largely under wraps, and with almost two months still to go until the movie's release date, that's probably a wise decision. For now, all you need to know is that Holmes and trusty sidekick Watson (Jude Law) do battle against villainous Lord Blackwood (Mark Strong) in a story that blends occult themes with nitty-gritty detective work and, of course, a ton of explosions and fights. In Blackwood, ingenious Sherlock might have finally met his match, as Sherlock's love interest Irene (Rachel McAdams) tells him.
"He's just as brilliant as you are," she says, "and infinitely more devious."
Check out everything we've got on "Sherlock Holmes."
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