The first in the Guy Ritchie Holmes series was a huge success and seemed to please most film fans, but it received mixed reactions from traditionalist Holmes fans who see this new Holmes as too far from Doyle's original character. I enjoyed the movie myself, but I did feel that it more resembled a steam punk influenced Victorian action movie than a Holmes adventure. However the studio, at least, didn't bow down to political correctness and it was refreshing to see Holmes with his trademark pipe, unlike the BBC series, Sherlock which has the detective on nicotine patches. I applaud the makers of the movie in keeping the pipe, especially in these days of tobacco hysteria. At least they didn't make the mistake of the current producers of the James Bond movies. They've taken away Bond's dick and look what's happened to the world's favourite spy! James Bland, anyone! The current screen Bond is indistinguishable from any other screen hero, but at least Holmes in all his incarnations has managed to retain something of the unique character which made him such a success in the first place.
Because the BBC series is superbly entertaining and the pairing of Benedict Cumberbatch as Sherlock Holmes and Martin Freeman as Watson, works well, that the series is set in contemporary times doesn't really matter - after all several of the Basil Rathbone Holmes movies were contemporary. But at the end of the day the series isn't really Sherlock Holmes, just as Guy Ritchie's movies, entertaining in themselves, are not really Sherlock Holmes.
So does it really matter how characters like Sherlock Holmes are presented? The variations on the characters and themes may not please the purists, but they might just encourage new readers to try the original canon - and that can only be a good thing.
"There is still more excitement and invention in the original tales than a thousand screen incarnations."
Hey spelling is so old Holmes...get wiv the program!