Tuesday, 15 January 2013

FILM: Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows (6/10)

Why did I watch it?
I saw Guy Ritchie's first take on the Sherlock Holmes story in 2009 at the cinema. It was a pretty fun outing for Robert Downey Jr. so I decided to give the follow-up a go, albeit at home this time around.

What's it all about?
Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law reprise their roles as Holmes and Watson respectively, with Guy Ritchie once more in the directors chair. This time around, new writers Kieran and Michele Mulroney plump for a story pitting Holmes against his traditional nemesis, Professor Moriarty. Having moved out of Baker Street to get married, Watson is pulled back into Holmes' investigation by Moriarty, who targets Holmes' sidekick and his wife as revenge for Holmes' attention. The investigation into Moriarty's warmongering schemes sees Holmes' travel across Europe to Paris, Germany and finally to the famous Reichenbach waterfall in Switzerland. 

Should you watch it?
Game of Shadows is certainly not going to uproot any trees but as with its predecessor it's a entertaining action film that audiences can enjoy with minimal effort. As with the original, the film makes a mockery of Holmes' traditional sleuthing and is nothing more than a buddy movie complete with Victorian fisticuffs with the Sherlock Holmes badge on. At least the writers paid some homage to the story by featuring Professor Moriarty and the infamous waterfall scene even if Moriarty's warmongering plot is 

Downey quips his way through the film (is his Holmes character an ancestor of his Iron Man!?) while Jared Harris (Mad Men's Lane Pryce) provides Holmes with an intellectual foe as clever as himself as Moriarty.

The film suffers from being unevenly paced, at times the action and script, especially considering Downey's sharp delivery, are overly frantic. The film's action pieces are heavy with slow motion effects and while this works in places, it felt overused by the film's end.

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