Tuesday, December 20, 2011

New Release: Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows

I was among the few really looking forward to seeing the sequel.  And thankfully I wasn't disappointed by the film.  The movie theater, however, was another story.  The film broke down twice, so there are segments, that I'm guessing are hysterical, that I cannot comment about as they skipped ahead a bit both times.  But we got a free movie ticket out of the 45 minute wait.  And I'll see this again I'm sure, so I'm not too worried.  But here's what I thought.

*Spoilers if you haven't seen the trailer, otherwise, nothing*

The film picks up right where the old one left off.  Holmes (Robert Downey, Jr.) is trying to figure out exactly who Irene Adler (Rachel McAdams) is working for.  He and Watson (Jude Law) saved the world from destruction, but now Holmes has to survive Watson's wedding to Mary (Kelly Reilly), and first his bachelor party.  We find out Ms. Adler is working for Prof. Moriarty, and that doesn't go too well for her.  Holmes wants to figure out Moriarty's plans and stop them of course.  This leads him to plan Watson's bachelor party (or half-assed plan) at a dance hall that has fortune tellers, where he meets Simza (Noomi Rapace) whose brother is wrapped up in all of the problems.  She's a gypsy, handy with a knife, and Holmes has to try to keep her alive, which she's more than capable of doing alone.

So we follow these adventures, the rest of which are mostly based on Moriarty threatening to hurt all the people in Holmes' life.  The action is good; the stylized fighting and mental preparation by Holmes is entertaining as well as engaging.  The story is a little more complicated than it really needs to be - something about Moriarty attempting to trigger war and then reap the financial benefits from it - and doesn't seem fitting for Moriarty's infamous brilliance.  However, there were some pretty great "meta" moments where they link the story to the original novels, but I won't give those away at all.  Just know that they're there.

Downey, Jr. and Law were really great interacting again.  They had terrific chemistry, with Watson being continuously annoyed with Holmes and Holmes attempting to keep Watson all to himself.  Noomi Rapace (famous for the Swedish version of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo) was good, but her role was relatively limited, it was mostly a place holder kind of role and she didn't need to do a lot, but at least it might give her the chance to do more in Hollywood, because what she did do was terrific, she just wasn't a big part of the film in general.  I liked it, but it wasn't better than the original, and if you're one of those who just liked the first one, you'll like this one, but you can wait for DVD.  Here's my review of the original, which I gave 4.5 stars, and this one I'd give a solid 4 stars/lambs.

1 comment:

David Bishop said...

I liked it, but like you I think I liked the first one more. There were elements of this new one that I found were better like Holmes working out a theoretical fight only to have it play out completely differently because of some factor he neglected to consider. I think the relationship between Holmes and Watson went a little deeper in the sequel too, which I liked. However, the first movie had a much tighter plot, and even though Moriarty is a legendary nemesis, this movie just felt a little more awkwardly put together than the first.