With rotten status on rottentomatoes.com (59%), I was not so eager to watch Sherlock Holmes – A Game of Shadows. But finally decided to give it go for Guy Ritchie, and Hanz Zimmer’s music. And I am so glad I did. Brilliantly shot, great acting, awesome direction and great music make this movie one of the best I’ve watched in 2011.
With its twists and turns, Sherlock Holmes – A Game of Shadows is a typical Guy Ritchie film (If it weren’t for him, the film would have barely made it to the theatres). Plus points are direction, music and ya, Robert Downey, Jr., who comes up with a really good performance. I thought is was way better than the first instalment, for it had a much simpler story-line. Only drawback for me was the length of the movie.I would definitely recommend you to go watch the movie. I happened to love it for I went without any expectation, so do go watch it without any expectations!!
For a detailed review, read on…
Miscreant from the first installment, Professor Moriarty (Jared Harris) makes Irene Adler (Rachel McAdams) deliver a package for him. The package happens to be a bomb which is diffused on time by Sherlock Holmes (Robert Downey, Jr.). Holmes discovers that Moriarty is responsible for a series of murders and terror attacks across Europe, but has no proof to prove his case. Holmes is trying to solve the case while his best friend Dr. Watson (Jude Law) gets married and is off on his honeymoon. To avenge Holmes’s intervention, Moriarty first poisons Irene, and then tries to kill Dr. Watson and his newly wed wife Mary (Kelly Reilly). The rest of the story is how Holmes saves Watson, and solves the case with his help.
Robert Downey, Jr. is really good in the lead role. His antics and body language make you fall in love with his character. He generates ample amount of humor with his stupendous comic timing and one liners. His performance in the climax is really good. Jude law is good as Holmes’s long time friend Dr. Watson. He supports Robert Downey, Jr., while never overplaying his role. Rachel McAdams has a limited presence and is good. Kelly Reilly and Noomi Rapace are perfect for their respective roles. Stephen Fry was excellent as Mycroft Holmes. His comic timing, again, was superb. I thought Jared Harris could have come up with a better performance, for his face lacked expression on most occasions.
Even since I’ve watched Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, I’ve been a big time fan of Guy Ritchie. His films, similar to Quentin Tarantino’s, are very different and intriguing. Though not a caper film, Guy Ritchie makes this movie look like one. The story written by Kieran Mulroney and Michele Mulroney is very simple, and there’s nothing really great about the script, but with his typical style, Ritche gives the film the punch required for an action detective film. I loved the way he shot the train episode, and the climax. The last scene of the movie just happens to show his brilliance. Except for but the fight scenes towards the beginning, I thought that the screenplay was really good.
Music by Hans Zimmer is a definite asset to the film. I loved the theme score of the first film (it’s one of my favourites), and he doesn’t disappoint on this one either. The sound effects were alright (maybe could have been much better). Editing by James Herbert is alright. I don’t know if its something wrong with me, but again I felt that the film was a little too long, and needed trimming. Cinematography by Philippe Rousselot is pretty decent. I thought that most shots lacked enough lighting and were snowy, but I have a feeling that it was intentional. The CGI team did a pretty good job of recreating Europe of 1890’s. Production values are really good.