Monday, December 19, 2011

12-17-11: Not as elementary my dear Watson

SHERLOCK HOLMES: A GAME OF SHADOWS (2011) (PG-13) 129 mins. *** D: Guy Ritchie. Robert Downey Jr., Jude Law, Noomi Rapace, Jared Harris, Stephen Fry, Rachel McAdams.

Holmes and Watson find themselves in a deadly game of cat and mouse when they cross paths with the criminal mastermind Professor James Moriarty.

Downey Jr. and Law are once again great as Holmes and Watson. Their banter continues to be amusing. The mystery is more an attempt to put the clues together. As an audience, we already know who's behind it but we're just waiting for him to be stopped, which unfortunately makes this less engaging. It was fun to try and figure out how Lord Blackwood pulled off his return from the dead in the original. Here it's about the chess match between Holmes and Moriarty which is pretty good for the most part. Holmes and Moriarty do face off in a chess match that ends in a rather silly fashion. On top of this, it did feel a bit long.

Ritchie has upped the action quotient from the original and has a few decent sequences that continue the flourish of slow-mo that he used before. There's a fair amount of humor especially from Stephen Fry as Holmes' brother. Jared Harris is okay as Moriarty. Rapace is very much under utilized.

Through history when you think Holmes and Moriarty you think of a battle of wits on a grand scale. There is a battle but it is not as grand as one would hope it would be. It's a decent sequel but isn't as good as the original nor is it as good as it could have potentially been.

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