Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows
Director: Guy Ritchie
Cast: Robert Downey Jr., Jude Law, Noomi Rapace, Rachel McAdams, Jared Harris, Stephen Fry
Before I begin my review….
Personally, I have so much respect for Robert Downey Jr.
My husband will tell you it is because of his looks that I say this. Don’t get me wrong, he is a very good looking man, but this isn’t the main reason I am such a fan. I think he is an amazing actor who brings his quirky streak to his performances and when you go to see a Downey Jr. movie, you know you are never in for a dull and lifeless performance.
I also have tremendous respect for his marriage to Susan Downey. I love these two as a couple. Any footage of these two tells you that these two are the perfect type of couple, they are best friends who are clearly in love and infatuated with each other. Robert is always complimenting Susan and Susan is continuously glowing every time she looks at her husband.
As we know, Downey Jr. has not always been the golden boy of Hollywood with several visits to jail and drug addiction in the late 1990’s. Yet, life just seemed to get better and better for him once he met producer, Susan Levin on the set of Gothika in 2003. The couple married in 2005 and Downey Jr.’s career started to take and upward turn not long after. I am not saying that Susan is the sole reason why his career has been so successful in the past few years, but it does no harm being in a happy and supportive relationship, especially when she is also the producer in the majority of his films.
The happy couple are expecting their first child together this February and we wish them all the best!
Anyway, onto my review of Downey Jr.’s latest film, Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows,
A sequel is a sequel, you can’t expect too much more than what you know a typical sequel is.
This doesn’t mean that Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows is a bad movie, it just puts the words into your mouth that you often hear after most sequels, “It wasn’t as good as the first”. Yet, do we expect it to be? If you normally think like this with a sequel, you are setting yourself up for disappointment. If you go in not expecting it to be as good as the first film and just appreciate it for what it is, you avoid disappointment and just enjoy what has been given to you.
However, Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows is better than your typical sequel. Director, Guy Ritchie has bought across to the new film what made the first film work such as amazing cinematography and a killer score by Hans Zimmer, but has enhanced the comedic value of the film.
In the second of the latest Sherlock Holmes films, Holmes (Robert Downey Jr.) and his ever trusted companion, John Watson (Jude Law) are in pursuit of Professor Moriarty (Jared Harris), who Holmes believes is behind a series of disasters across Europe. Moriarty makes Watson and his new wife, Mary (Kelly Reilly) his target in response thus forcing Holmes to retaliate and set out to overthrow his plans to unleash havoc on all of Europe.
There is no doubt that Ritchie knows how to direct a film. He proved the perfect choice for the first Sherlock Holmes and he has carried on into the second instalment what works. The film is very entertaining and is visually fantastic to watch. There are several “wow” scenes such as the chase through the woods. The editing and cinematography in such scenes as this are breathtaking.
However, the story and script are nowhere near as strong as they were in the first film. This Sherlock Holmes doesn’t have the same air of mystery that a Sherlock Holmes story traditionally has, it is more an action film than a mystery. The story isn’t very strong and feels a bit jumpy at times.
It also feels as though the script by Michele and Kieran Mulroney is trying to be a little too funny. What made the first Sherlock Holmes work was the subtle humour involved and the witty script. A Game of Shadows tries a little too hard and works too much on the comedy side rather than on a tight script and story. Granted, it is funny so it does work in that way and it does make it entertaining, but it would have been nice to have seen the focus shifted to a cleverly written script.
However, the film’s story does strengthen towards the end and it is actually an ending most people will not see coming.
Robert Downey Jr. is still perfect as the lead role in this film. He has the right amount of quirkiness, strength and belief in his character to bring Holmes to life and make him likable. Downey Jr. and Jude Law’s best friend/ partner in crime relationship peaks at the right time in the story and in the right ways. They feel distanced and without chemistry at the beginning when Watson is preparing for mystery retirement and marriage, but they work as one again by the end of the film.
Noomi Rapace still looks a tad lost in the film and there really is no strength in her performance, even in moments where there should be.
A great holiday movie and an above average sequel.
The Internet Movie Database