Sunday, January 1, 2012

Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows (3.5)

(Watch the Trailer)

The sequel to the 2009 blockbuster hit starring Robert Downey Jr and Jude Law.

I loved the first movie. I thought it was refreshing and might just be the best representation of Sherlock Holmes to date. If you go back and read the books Holmes is a druggie, fighting, sarcastic genius and Downey Jr. really nailed it. I absolutely loved Jude Law as Watson and I liked him more than I have in any other film.

As it goes with sequels, they are rarely as good as the original. This held true for this movie as well but that doesn't mean it was a disappointment. I think the element of surprise was gone even before this film was made (in terms of the new look to an old classic).

Robert Downey Jr. (A Skanner Darkly, Due Date) is still 100% Sherlock Holmes. He is beyond amazing as this character and his performance was nothing but amazing and hilarious. I still love how he can do the action shots but then turn around and switch completely to comedy or drama or whatever else they have him do. Love him in these films.

Jude Law (Repo Men, The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus) was equally as amazing in this movie than in the first. He makes me laugh but also wins my heart as Watson and he hadn't lost any of his charm and sarcasm for the second film.

I was uber pumped when Noomi Rapace came on the screen. I totally missed that she was going to be in this movie and I heart her for her absolutely flawless and stunning performance in the original Girl with the Dragon Tattoo films. So happy to see her in another film.

So, why did I not like this one as much as the first? The characters and performances were bang on but the story was lacking. I wasn't feeling it. I guess Lord Blackwood in the first movie seemed a better villain than Professor Moriarty and the chase was therefore less exciting for me. This time around I got a little bored now and again with the 'wild' ride to find the bad guy. I liked how they tried to add a sense of history with a mild dose of our present day problems masked by an adventure/get the villain story line. I just didn't get into it as much as I wanted to.

Still, the action scenes were good. I still love watching the slow motion fight scene thing that they do with Sherlock. The scene with them running through the forest was stunning and was easily one of my favourites of this film. Really cool concepts and shots but the story didn't rattle my brain or my excitement levels enough.

If you like the first definitely see this one, just be prepared to not get utterly blown away.

Bonus: Stephen Fry.

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