Sherlock Holmes: A Game Of Shadows - movie review
Release date: 16 December 2011
Director: Guy Ritchie
Starring: Robert Downey Jr, Jude Law, Noomi Rapace
What's the story?
Holmes and Watson are in pursuit of a dastardly criminal mastermind intent on sparking global war. Has the pride of Baker Street met his match?
What did we think?
Though Downey Jr's Sherlock remains an acquired taste, this rip-roaring follow-up is an improvement on the original. The main disappointment is Noomi Rapace, who lacks the feisty cool she showed in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.
For Bond it's Blofeld. For Batman it's the Joker. When it comes to criminal nemeses, however, they don't come much more formidable than Professor James Moriarty, the archenemy of Sherlock Holmes and the benchmark against which all geniuses should be judged.
Last seen as a fey prankster in the BBC's Sherlock, Moriarty reverts to more standard guise in Guy Ritchie's follow-up to his 2009 success: a dapper, urbane academic who hides his sinister intentions behind an elegant veneer. Rumour has it that Daniel Day-Lewis was tapped for the role. But Jared Harris does a perfectly serviceable job in his stead, countering Robert Downey Jr's typically flamboyant Holmes with a sleek essay in measured menace.
When he's not around, though, A Game of Shadows has a more playful tone that is in keeping with its star's offbeat delivery and a fast-moving plot that takes him and Jude Law's long-suffering Watson on an eventful jaunt across mainland Europe. Big bangs and spectacular stand-offs keep the tempo high while Stephen Fry adds to the comedy quotient as Holmes' pompous brother Mycroft. A shame, though, that Noomi Rapace isn't better used as Sim, the gypsy fortune teller who joins our heroes on their travels.
Firstly I know people have to critique this film it is only natural, although you have to question the experience of the author and editor. It is simply not good enough to attempt to validate your critic with opinionated comments, when you are not experienced in the same field, it should be that film critics can only earn the right to do so after a glittering career in the same field.
I do find it a little tiresome to hear comments like "Though Downey Jr's Sherlock remains an acquired taste, the main disappointment is Noomi Rapace, who lacks the feisty cool she showed in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. The two films cannot be compared, the director has far too much pedigree to allow a less than average performance for Noomi, she did as directed to do so by complimenting Downey Jr without making it all about her.
This version of Sherlock Holmes to me is more of an edgy performance rather like Daniel Craig’s new edgy James Bond. I am so glad Downey did not do a pastiche of all the previous Sherlock’s, that would have been a bore and not worth the 100s of millions spent on making this film.
What we should be telling the potential viewers is that the film does a fantastic job recreating the feel of 1900s England, the cinematography is splendid and worth every penny of the budget spent on it. The successful recipe of Downey and Law characters have been further enhanced by the adding of more comedy and Jared Harris does more than service the part of Moriarty he brings the arch nemesis to life with a crafted performance (It matters not if the brilliant Day Lewis was tapped for it, Jared is the new Moriarty and less we forget Downey Jr is the new Sherlock.