Thursday, 22 December 2011

Sherlock Holmes: A Game Of Shadows (2011)

Running Time: 129 mins
Directed By: Guy Ritchie
Starring: Robert Downey Jr, Jude Law, Jared Harris, Stephen Fry, Rachel McAdams, Noomi Rapace, Eddie Marsan, Kelly Reilly, Geraldine James
Screenplay: Michele Mulroney, Kieran Mulroney
UK Release Date: 16th December 2011 - UK

Quick Plot: Following a number of mysterious deaths, Sherlock Holmes suspects Professor Moriarty is set to strike again. After meeting a fortune teller, at Dr Watson's stag night, who is involved with Moriarty's next killing, he begins the adventure to save Moriarty's victims.

Review: After the success of the terrific Sherlock Holmes back in 2009, I was over the moon when it was announced there would be a sequel. Though the film obviously plays on being as sequel instead of trying to be singular, the second installment keeps to the exact same format of action, fun and fighting.

The film begins with an exciting cold opening which brings us back into the ways of the fantastic Sherlock Holmes. Showing us the way Holmes' mind plans in working out the opponents next move so that he can correlate with his is a lot of fun. This technique which is reprised from the first, is used a lot more in A Game Of Shadows but with a few twists in the end of Holmes' fight. The first part of the film was very enjoyable as it sees the return of Rachel McAdams as the ever so beautiful and very conniving Irene Adler whose small appearance in the film breathes a sense familiarity to the first film but at the same time feels unique and different. The film could have continued in this manner with McAdams in the story, but she isn't around for long and the film moves onto new things.

There is a huge amount of love for Robert Downey Jr as the ever pleasing Sherlock Holmes because he is quite simply perfect. In his body language, tone and sense of witty charm alongside the other characters, Downey Jr makes up half of the delight you feel when you watch either of the Sherlock Holmes films. The character himself is half a comedian and half an unlikely superhero and Downey Jr nails it. Another part of the films that people adore is the bromance between Law's Dr Watson and Holmes which in the sequel is more entertaining than ever!
There is ongoing banter throughout the film between the pair and some real laugh out loud moments which makes A Game Of Shadows really enjoyable. Jared Harris as the enemy, professor Moriarty is just as cunning and intelligent as Holmes and gives the two leads a real run for their money because he is superb. He definitely plays the part well as I thought Mark Strong's Lord Blackwood could not be beaten as far as villains go but he has be matched. In a few very funny scenes, Stephen Fry steals a lot of laughs among audiences as Shirley's older brother who is a great add to the ensemble.

It's obvious that Ritchie loves his slow mo's and A Game Of Shadows is full of them but surprisingly, you don't get bored of them and they definitely give the film a theme along with Hans Zimmer's score. I loved the slow motion bullet changing and big gun scene (which featured in one of my favourite trailers of the year- below) in the woods which occurs in the latter of the film and I was not disappointed with it in full. If you took out the slow motion, the duration of the whole film would probably loose around 10 minutes but for me, they are a Sherlock Holmes must.

The only real problem A Game Of Shadows has is underusing Noomi Rapace who should have had plenty more dialogue and a lot more action. I previously mentioned McAdams who features at the beginning, who is a fantastic contrast to Holmes in the first film and you want Rapace to be the same. Not entirely the identical, but to have something edgier and darker but altogether she hardly does anything. In her first English speaking role she does the best she can but apart from a few chases, Rapace is extremely underused and needed more action!

Sticking to a lot of similarity to the first, you'd expect A Game Of Shadows to drag but that's not the case as it's just as exciting, fun and full of action and Guy Ritchie slow mo's.

Sherlock Holmes: A Game Of Shadows
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1 comment:

  1. Nice review of the movie. Downey Jr makes a very interesting Sherlock Holmes.

    I liked the first movie. I need to check this one out.



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