Monday, January 02, 2012

Sherlock Holmes: A Game Of Shadows

Year: 2011
Director: Guy Ritchie
Cast: Robert Downey Jr, Jude Law, Noomi Rapace, Jared Harris, Stephen Fry, Rachel McAdams

Plot: Sherlock Holmes and his trusty best friend Dr Watson team up to stop Professor Moriarty from starting a war in Europe.

Review: Guy Ritchie successfully updated Sherlock Holmes for the new generation two years back. What he lacked in a good plot, he made up for in great action sequences and a believable bromance between Downey Jr and Law.

For this sequel, it's pretty much the same thing. Holmes' great adversary, Professor Moriarty plans to start a war in Europe for his own benefit, so the great detective and his partner, the long suffering but loyal Watson have to do all they can to stop him.

Ritchie knows what worked in the last film and uses it again here: the pre-fight calculation of moves before Holmes beats his opponents, the quick flashback sequences to explain current sequences, slow mo action sequences etc. All here and accounted for. It may seem like repetition, but these are the things that actually make the film entertaining.

Of course, we also have the great chemistry between Downey Jr and Law, who are still as fun as ever to watch. Downey is still incorrigible and Law is still reluctantly supportive of his best friend's manic behavior, even as it threatens their personal lives. Noomi Rapace plays the gypsy Simza, who is pertinent to the central plot, but overall does not get to do much. Rapace is mostly overshadowed by her two leading men, which is a pity. Jared Harris looks devious enough as the villain Moriarty, but isn't quite intimidating enough to be a real threat. Stephen Fry adds some much needed colour as Holmes' eccentric brother Mycroft and provides a measure of humour whenever he appears. Thank goodness Rachel McAdams gets limited screentime here, as I didn't think she ever added any value to the first film to begin with.

As fun as this sequel is, like I said before, it lacks a strong plot, and the execution of it is poor. In the midst of all the action unfolding, don't be surprised if you suddenly forget why the characters are doing what they're doing. I felt that Ritchie is stringing all the action together just to move from one set piece to the next, without any clear reason as to how it relates to the plot.

It's an entertaining 2 hours and 9 minutes, but I'm not sure if I'm interested enough to go back and see this again. (3.5/5)

1 comment:

buddy2blogger said...

Nice review of the movie.

I liked the first one better. Downey Jr makes an interesting Sherlock Holmes.



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