The Sign of the Eight (Out of Ten).

With an apologetic tip of the long, fancy hat to original author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, we think it’s fair to say that Sherlock Holmes’ many adaptations have supplanted the original text in terms of prominence. Most luridly, of course, there is Steven Moffat’s Sherlock, as well as similarly contemporary take Elementary, plus the Robert Downey Jr. Hollywood interpretation. Going back further we have Jeremy Brett and Basil Rathbone’s iconic portrayals, and who could forget Tantei Opera Milky Holmes?

What we’re getting at here is that any take on Sherlock Holmes detached from all of these previous presentations is necessarily going to take inspiration from its predecessors and must work hard to find its own identity. Sherlock Holmes: Crimes and Punishments feels like a hodge-podge of characterisation and direction, borrowing liberally from the aesthetics of Guy Ritchie’s efforts while incorporating elements of the BBC Sherlock series for the deduction sequences. And, despite the somewhat unavoidable feeling of unoriginality, it all works rather brilliantly.

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