Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows

***DISCLAIMER*** The following review is entirely my opinion. If you comment (which I encourage you to do) be respectful. If you don't agree with my opinion, that's fine. To each their own. I am just sharing my opinions and perspective. Finally, the reviews are given on a scale of 1-5. 1, of course, being terrible. 2, being not great. 3, being okay. 4, being good and 5, being epic!

Sherlock Holmes:  A Game of Shadows - 5 out of 5

When Guy Ritchie announced he was directing a Sherlock Holmes film, I had my reservations.  I like Guy Ritchie but I didn't know if the guy man who gave us Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels and Snatch could make a profanity-free adventure featuring the World's Greatest Detective (wait a second...Batman is called the World's Greatest Detective...man, imagine if the Bats and Holmes teamed together?  Those great minds could stop crime altogether!).

Watson told Holmes to tell the doctor that he "fell" down some "stairs."

However, all my doubts were instantly put to rest as Ritchie's unique directing style, his artistic and mind-blowing use of editing along with a strong story and through-the-roof performances came busting its way on the screen.  Needless to say, I was excited when Ritchie came in for Round 2.

If you don't like Stephen Fry, I'm sorry, we can no
longer be friends.
Sherlock Holmes:  A Game of Shadows see the great detective (Robert Downing Jr) matching wits with his greatest nemesis and intellectual equal; Professor Moriarty (Jared Harris).  Watson (Jude Law) is on his own and about to get married when Moriarty forces the two men to work together to stop the Professor's mission to create and profit from a war.  But, of course, it's a Sherlock Holmes' mystery so there's so much more going on like a gypsy played by the goth chick from the Swedish version of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is in it and the illustrious Stephen Fry steps in and plays Sherlock's brother; Mycroft--but I'm not into the whole spoiler thing on my blog--I'm much more into pina coladas...and getting caught in the rain.

It's nice to see Noomi Rapace in a role where she's not goth and not being anally raped.

The critics weren't too nice on this 2nd outing for Holmes and Watson and I'm not entirely sure why.  Guy Ritchie's work behind the camera is 2nd to none as he weaves together a brilliant story filled with wit and mystery and throws in some great comedic scenes and action sequences that look as beautiful as they look cool.

"Pew pew--Got you!"

There's also the cast...  Robert Downing Jr. once again takes the role of Sherlock by the balls and makes it his own.  One of the key elements of any Sherlock Holmes story/movie/McDonald's Happy Meal tie-in is the relationship between the detective and the good doctor; John Watson.  Jude Law once again shows he's amazingly entertaining as Watson as well as proving that he and Downing really come off as a duo that are business associates and best friends to the point they look like siblings squabbling over who doesn't sit in the middle of the backseat. 

Oh Robert Downing Jr...you are so talented and handsome...you make me
question my heterosexuality.

In the first film, Mark Strong played the film's antagonist as Lord Blackwood--a person who seemed to ooze evil.  Every good hero needs a great enemy (you got that Ang Lee?  A mutated poodle to take on the Hulk is just one of the million reasons you raped the awesome comic character in Hulk.  Seriously, that movie would have been in better hands if Michael Bay directed it) and in A Game of Shadows we get to see Holmes' greatest enemy; Moriarty--the man who is just as crafty and just as smart as Holmes...only he's really bad.  Harris portrayal of the iconic villain is amazing as he comes off as a quiet, arrogant and wickedly evil man ready to--and with an eerie calm--throw the world into utter chaos simply because he can...and make tons of cash in the process.   With two powerhouse portrayals of two of literature's greatest characters, it becomes quite a sweet treat to see Holmes and Moriarty battle wits and fists in the final act of the film.

Moriarty would later go on to use his evil talents helping Don Draper at
Draper Sterling Cooper Pryce.

Amazingly entertaining, visually creative and pleasing on the old eyeballs and very humorous, Sherlock Holmes:  A Game of Shadows proves to be on par (maybe better) than the first film and shows that there is limitless potential for more sequels...until Joel Schumacher takes over and destroys it like he did with the Batman franchise of the late 80s and early 90s.  (Another reason for Holmes and Batman to team up--to thwart Schumacher!)


  1. Great review, Ron. I saw this movie last weekend and will be writing the review sometime soon.

    I too loved Harris's take on Moriarty. He and Downey Jr were terrific whenever they shared the screen.

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