Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows

I have just returned from the rather entertaining sequel to guy Ritchie’s Sherlock Holmes. This time round the film has a faster pace, more action and it’s funnier.

It’s a good time to be a Sherlock Holmes fan with this movie coming out in December and then next month BBC’s Sherlock series 2 will be shown and we get to watch a different and also entertaining take on Holmes, Watson and Moriarty!

We’ve all been thinking about Moriarty since the first film and wondered how he would be portrayed and by whom. There was a rumor going around when the first movie came out that Brad Pitt had been the voice for Moriarty and would play Moriarty in the sequel. That was not true however. Here he is played by an equally fine actor Jared Harris. I had thought Ritchie might have a younger actor like Pitt against Holmes in the sequel to match the Holmes he and Robert Downey Jr created for the first film which is Sherlock Holmes turned up to 11. A man of visual action. But the slightly more traditional route is taken with Harris and is a little more reserved than i expected him to be portrayed in this film. Of course the Moriarty in he novels was older and seemingly more frail. Jared Harris is quite impressive all the same and plays the character well against Downy’s larger than life Holmes. I like it.

There is more comedy in this movie and the moments are bigger and funnier than the last film. Robert Downey Jr accentuates Holmes eccentricities making the character true to form yet far funnier. It would be nice though if they gave more reflective dark moments for the character. Irene Adler’s Handkerchief and Holmes mentioning how his powers of Observation is his curse were nicely touched on but all too shortly. Fortunately we have many other iterations of the character to follow up on these darker sides. It seems for the moment the movie franchise will keep things fairly light hearted even if it’s visually darker.

Jude Law’s Watson has more to do here. It’s a difficult character to develop since he is the sidekick and in a 2 hour film with the name “Sherlock Holmes” in the title. The character won’t have much chance but here we do see more funny moments with the character and it’s a nice addition to see the wedding and more of Mrs. Watson. Their reactions to the Two Holmes gives us some very funny moments.

Guy Ritchie’s action is stupendous as usual. I don’t think of the action as overdone or over stylized for it’s so original and beautiful. It’s feast for the eyes and in particular I loved seeing the dissection of fights sequences once again in this sequel which he has worked nicely into a thrilling finale at the falls.

Sir Stephen Fry plays Holmes brother Mycroft. He plays it with the sophistication and REAL intellect that I imagine Mycroft to have and he plays it well for laughs too. Fry’s comedy background and genius is a perfect combination for this Mycroft. It’s interesting to note that Guy Ritchie may have nabbed the idea of Fry as Mycroft from “House” which Hugh Laurie had stated as wanting to do an episode where House couldn’t solve the case and would have to bring in his older, intelligent Brother (Fry). Fry had joked to Laurie that he would come in as a man with two limps!

Reichenbach Falls. Well it’s not actually the real Reichenbach but the movie went where I was hoping and fidgeting for it to go. When Holmes and Watson decide to go to Switzerland there was a large intake of breath by the audience. There was a mutual sense of excitement of what comes next. I was wondering how Holmes was going to get out of it since Watson actually sees him go over unlike the books. But suffice to say it’s cleverly done. And! we get to see it happen again in less than a month on BBC’s Sherlock. Joygasmic.

Favorite Quote: “That is my curse”– Sherlock Holmes

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