Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows

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Remo D
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Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows

Post by Remo D » Sat Dec 24, 2011 10:13 am

Yes, I’m a long-time diehard Holmesian—I love the Arthur Conan Doyle stories and I’m huge on the Basil Rathbone films. And yes, I’m the guy who refused to see YOUNG SHERLOCK HOLMES when it first came out because I was offended by the revision of the canon: hey, I don’t mind if you put Holmes and Watson in World War II for the sake of the movies, but don’t tell me that they met as children! (Eventually, of course, I caught up with the film and simply thought that it would have been better titled YOUNG INDIANA JONES.)
Times and levels of appreciation change, of course—by the time I heard that Robert Downey, Jr. was going to be playing the great detective, I had no illusion that he was going to simply sit in his armchair and puff his pipe thoughtfully—I fully expected him to go all “seven percent solution” on us, and I wasn’t disappointed. I looked forward to that film—and that film left me actually looking forward to a sequel!
Well, here it is, and I’m happy to report that it left me completely satisfied. Holmes is still fighting a losing battle to prevent the wedding of Dr. Watson (Jude Law), especially now that Professor Moriarty (Jared Harris in a very entertaining interpretation) is trying to trigger a premature World War (shades of LXG, in fact). In other words, we’ve got an individual story that Doyle himself never wrote… but it still leads inexorably to the Reichenbach Falls and the single most infamous incident in Holmesiana: the author still receives his due. We also get to meet Sherlock’s older (and smarter) brother Mycroft (none other than Stephen “Jeeves” Fry in a very droll turn), and while Rachel McAdams does, indeed, return as Irene Adler, it’s Noomi Rapace (the original GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO) who steals the ladies’ honors as Gypsy fortune teller Madam Simza.
If you’ve noticed that I haven’t gone into any major detail regarding the story, there’s a reason for that—spoilers would be… spoilsome. But I will call your attention to a bit you’ve already seen a hundred times in the trailers in which Holmes pops up in sloppy drag, admitting that it’s not his “best disguise.” On its own, it seems like a gratuitous moment, but in the context of the film it works perfectly—Holmes is in an absolute STATE as the film begins, and all of his disguises are sloppy and haphazard for a reason. As for the train scene itself? The drag gag is only the beginning of one of the most entertainingly sustained action/suspense/humor sequences of the show.
Now, as for Mick LaSalle and his “empty chair” excoriation? I’ll concede ONE point to him: director Guy Ritchie does tend to showboat and overdo it with slow-motion explosion sequences and the like. I got the impression that a 3-D conversion was in mind when he shot this, and I’m quite glad that it didn’t happen in the end. But to condemn everything else in the film, including the acting and the story? I think Mick got lost in the very first scene and never managed to find his way back, plain and simple. The audience I saw the film with even applauded at the end, and I happily joined them.
Go have fun.


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Darth Tanner
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Re: Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows

Post by Darth Tanner » Sat Dec 31, 2011 4:03 pm

Finally caught up to this today and agree that it was a lot of fun. I enjoyed it every bit as much as I enjoyed the first film. Downey, Law and Rapace were all excellent and Jared Harris (who I just saw in John Carpenter's THE WARD a few nights ago) made a great Moriarty. Totally awesome movie with a cool story and some great action scenes. I second Remo and would recommend everybody checking this out. Definitely a great way to end 2011. It's funny though that I also ended 2009 with the first SHERLOCK HOLMES:) On that note, I'll certainly be back in a few days with my year-end recap.

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Remo D
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Re: Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows

Post by Remo D » Sun Jan 01, 2012 9:29 am

Mick, if this is THE VERY WORST film you saw all year, you must have had a WONDERFUL year at the movies. I'm jealous. :rolleyes:


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