Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows

Two years have passed since Guy Ritchie brought us a new version of Sherlock Holmes to the big screen.  Bringing back the dynamic detective duo of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. John Watson, Ritchie gives us the latest in his storytelling in Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows.

Holmes: Was it good for you too? Watson: Ugh, what do I tell my new wife?!

Back once again is Robert Downey Jr and Jude Law respectively as Holmes and Watson. Downey and Law work well together and play off each others strength well.  When it comes to how their characters in Ritchie’s version compared to previous incarnations I am not a great decider of that.  I have not read any of the books but have watched different versions over the years but not regularly to be a definitive judge.  I’ve heard some complaints when the first movie came out as far as how Holmes is made to more than just a detective.  Not to raise my geek flag here but I feel that this version of Holmes is very Bruce Wayne/Batman like.  He is not only a detective but now a crime fighter.  In this film it is more of the same, actually more.

When it came to camera work, in fight scenes especially, everything was slowed down a bit and put in slow motion.  A trend that started a bit in The Matrix and overly used in 300.  I had no problem with this concept when depicting what moves Holmes will do in fight scenes but it was used a good amount more here.  With a running time of 128 minutes, the movie could have trimmed a decent portion if this wasn’t put in effect so much.

As for the plot I got a The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen feel for it.  Starting out with some bombings, Holmes detects his arch nemesis Professor James Moriarty is the criminal mastermind behind them and with the purpose of starting a war.  With the help of Watson and a gypsy Holmes encounters along the way, a cat and mouse game begins.

Jared Harris, son of the famous Irish actor Richard, plays Moriarty with ease.  He is as every bit of the smart intellectual person that Holmes is, and even brawn as we see later in the film.  As for Noomi Rapace, the original Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, I felt that she was more of a throw in to add dimension and another side plot to the film.  Her acting was decent but it just felt like her role wasn’t exactly necessary.  Returning as Watson’s fiancée/wife Mary, Kelly Reilly impressed me more than Rapace.  Rachel McAdams also returns as Irene Adler in a limited role.  Plus as an added bonus, Stephen Fry plays Sherlock’s brother Mycroft with real delight.

Overall  Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows was watchable but I left the theater with a eh feeling.  Personally I enjoyed the first film more and I enjoyed Mark Strong as the villain in that more.


Posted on December 20, 2011, in Film Review and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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