Friday, December 23, 2011

Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows (Fans)★ ★★ ★ (Me) ★ ★

Release Dates:   Australia 5th January 2012
Other Countries



It's not so elementary
 



In Sherlock Holmes’ own words, "When you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth".

And this may also be true for the movie, Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows. Getting to the truth of why you should or shouldn’t see it, is quite a difficult game of deduction.

Notice in one corner, we have Robert Downey JR (Sherlock Holmes), everybody’s favorite actor, the swaggering Iron Man hero himself. Also in the wonderful actor area is Jude Law (Dr. John Watson), considered one of Britain’s best actors. Alongside them, Noomi Rapace (Sim) of the Swedish Girl With The Dragon Tattoo role, captivating to watch. Of course, lets not forget Jared Harris (Professor Moriarty) of Mad Men fame and Stephen Fry (Mycroft Holmes) whom everyone loves.

Now swing your ever observant gaze to the Director, Guy Ritchie, who literally created a genre of UK gangster films with his hit the 1999, Lock, Stock & Two Smoking Barrels made with a paltry one million dollars.

And hidden away, where most people wouldn’t notice them, is the production team of Joel Silver, (who has more than sixty films under his belt, including the Matrix trilogy),  Susan Downey (a prolific producer and Downey’s wife), and Lionel Wigram, (co-producer of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows).

This is a dream team for big success and they have achieved it with the first Sherlock Holmes film, grossing over $516 Million. So your deduction, my dear friend, is that this movie would be a thrilling caper from start to finish. That, though, would depend on your powers of observation.

The story begins with the death of the Crown Prince of Austria. All is not as it seems, of course, and Holmes follows the slim clues to a gentleman’s club, where he is, supposedly, out with Watson on Watson's buck’s night. Here he meets the Gypsy fortune teller, Sim, who knows more than she is revealing in her card reading. It’s not giving too much away to share that Moriarty is behind everything dastardly. Suspecting this, Holmes and Watson follow Moriarty across Europe in order to discover and thwart his evil game plan. There is a tremendous amount of running and jumping, fighting, and gun exploding, much of it in slow motion, so we miss nothing. And there is much 'follow the clue' revelations, just like in the first film.

My husband, an avid fan of the first movie, found this one exhilarating. He inferred, quite rightly, that it was true to Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes. Downey’s Sherlock Holmes is to say aloof, uncaring and a downright narcissist. Watson continues to be his able sidekick, who, despite being treated like a fool, still follows Holmes faithfully through all his adventures, even abandoning his wife on their honeymoon.

The movie is dark—and I mean darkly lit—which again my husband pointed out is true to the era, where it was candlelight all the way. Holmes slow motion think-through process for every physical clash, along with his and Moriarty’s word play, for me, ground proceedings to a yawning halt. Not so, for my Husband, who commented, this was true Holmes, a man of thought and words.

And yes, we did have a heated discussion, in the car, on the way home from the screening. For every move I made on the credibility of this Sherlock Holmes film, my husband had a counter argument.

So, in order to decide if you will enjoy Sherlock Holmes I can only offer this advice: You must reach your own conclusions. The evidence is there for both sides of the, is it a good movie, argument.

In this case, the truth may be that, whilst this movie was not for me, I feel that the probability is great that an enjoyable two hours is in the cards for fans of the original. And the last person with whom I would argue is Sherlock Holmes. He does play a good game at times.