Sunday, 18 December 2011
REVIEW: SHERLOCK HOLMES-A GAME OF SHADOWS
No shit Sherlock.
Starring: Robert Downey, Jr., Jude Law, Noomi Rapace, Jared Harris, Stephen Fry, Kelly Reilly & Rachel McAdams. Director: Guy Ritchie. Screenplay: Kieran Mulroney, Michele Mulroney & Guy Ritchie
Elementary my dear folk. Sherlock Holmes is back. After the British intelligence of director Guy Ritchie teamed up with the chemistry filled, charismatic tandem of Robert Downey Jnr.(Holmes) and Jude Law (Watson) for the big-hit 'Sherlock Holmes' in 2009 we now have a sequel for a new take on the Sherlock story that deserves a series. 'Sherlock Holmes-A Game Of Shadows' sees our favourite pair of crime-fighters race against time and across Europe to face Sherlock Holmes' nemesis Moriarty. In a film influenced by Conan Doyle's Sherlock story 'The Final Problem'.
There are no troubles or sophomore slumps here in a sequel that is every bit as good as the original...if not more exciting. Ritchie's second Sherlock has the respect to keep some things by the book, but also isn't afraid to flip the script. Mixing traditional settings with new modern directorial techniques and keeping things fresh and interesting...even for Sherlock. All the hallmarks that made the first film so good are homaged and more. There are more slow-motion scenes than a John Woo flick, more flashbacks than a 'Family Guy' episode and more importantly more action set pieces than the first or most films from this year. From hand to hand combat that would make Bourne blush, and shoot-outs that would keep Bond at bay, there's more to this film than meets the magnifying glass.
From tremendous train scenes by the carriage load, to Sherlock breaking down his fighting techniques with a little help and a little scrambling of eggs, this sequel is whisked into the shape that other franchises have failed to round into. Johnny Depp better watch out it seems that Robert Downey Jnr. is the outstanding, offbeat actor of the moment. As Downey becomes even more perfectly peculiar so does his rightfully oddball Holmes character. With this and the 'Iron Man' franchise this leading man's next few years are set. As Robert Downey has the mettle and versatility to play two completely different characters so well, one thing is evident and remains the same, his cool, contagious charisma.
This enthusiasm catches on to the rest of the cast. Jude Law has found his niche, once again standing firm and next to Holmes and Downey Jnr proud. This actor and his character make the perfect partner for our main character to play off. If that wasn't enough how about a visit from Sherlock's brother Mycroft played magnificently up by English national treasure Stephen Fry. Jared Harris also makes for the perfect villain and formidable foil in Professor Moriarty the Joker to Sherlock Holmes' Batman, with all their back and forth, chess moves. Plus with some old (Rachel McAdams) and new (Noomi Rapace) female friends joining the investigation things look real good.
There really must be something in that pipe of Sherlock's because this sequel is smoking hot. From London to Switzerland by way of Paris this is one star Euro trip you want to be part of. Case in point this film is no copycat of the first film disguised as a sequel. It's a new story in it's own right, that is a real scene turner. Funny and fresh, exciting and entertaining, they don't make sequels like this anymore...until the next one. Let's hope this isn't his last bow. TIM DAVID HARVEY.