Friday, December 16, 2011

Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows

Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law return as the legendary sleuth and his trusty sidekick, respectively.  Also back is Rachel McAdams as the femme fatale, Irene Adler.  And of course I can't leave out the man who reimagined this reboot, director Guy Ritchie, who kicks up the stylized action sequences to a whole new level (and unfortunately I don't mean that in a complimentary way.)  Additions to the cast include 'The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo's Noomi Rapace, Stephen Fry as Holmes' brother, Mycroft, and Jared Harris as Holmes' notorious arch enemy, Professor Moriarty.

I must admit I'm a bit biased on this series because I've always been a big fan of Sherlock Holmes, in all his incarnations.  And I thought Ritchie's debut entry in 2009 was a true delight.  The casting was brilliant.  The style was a visual treat.  And the dark and mystical tone really worked for the essence of the original stories.  But unfortunately the sequel lacks a lot of what made the first one great.  This one is too action heavy.  It's too stylized.  There are way too many 'Holmes deduces the fight sequence in slow motion before the fight even begins' scenes.  And Harris isn't nearly as fun a villain as Mark Strong's Lord Blackwood was in the first.  And worst of all, the chemistry between all the characters isn't there nearly as much.  So that's disappointing.  Nevertheless, any Downey Jr./Law, Holmes/Watson movie, even a slightly disappointing one, is better than most films in theaters, so I still enjoyed it, and I still look forward to the third.  I'll just hope for a better game afoot.

Grade: B+

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