Review: Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows

17 June, 2012
Rat Fink

This one took the bromance cake. Of course, I’m one of those shallow girlz who will gladly watch — and on some level, enjoy — anything Robert Downey, Jr. is in, so it wouldn’t matter what cake was up for the taking. I’d like it. :-)

Still, there were holes. I know about the expectation that a viewer suspend disbelief and instead just immerse him/herself in the story. I get that. But Guy Ritchie makes the work awfully challenging. Just a few examples:

  • A high-tech (even by, say, Viet Nam era standards) weapons factory exists in the Swiss wilderness, complete with a football-stadium-sized warehouse, which Holmes illuminates by flipping a single light switch, instantaneously activating enormous overhead lights (the film takes place in 1891).
  • Holmes throws Watson’s wife off a speeding train, sending her plummeting at 50 MPH into a river, from which she emerges, unscathed, muttering sarcastically about how this was shaping up to be the best night of her life.
  • With regards to the train: there’s only so much smart-aleck, joke-around-in-the-face-of-certain-death chicanery I can take. Again, expectations for suspension of disbelief were too high. That, and the fact that Watson took far too easily the news that his friend just chucked his wife into the river on their honeymoon night. Head-scratcher.
  • There’s a completely cheesy twist put on the final (and by this time, tedious) slo-mo fight sequence. I actually did a tongue click.

The fight scenes (too many for my taste) bordered on the useless. And the evil henchman/assassin working for Moriarty? Hardly a scary individual. He looked like a cost accountant, late for a train. (My apologies to all tardy cost accountants.) It just didn’t add up; it was like Ritchie was trying to cover all bases for everyone, and missing the mark altogether in places. The way Holmes was directed to react to the death of someone close to him (and it wasn’t even confirmed in the movie, at least to my satisfaction) was pretty shallow. Big question mark there.

There were definite bright spots, however. I mean, it’s RDJ — need I say more? :P Jude Law was also adorable, and Jared Harris (Lane Pryce in Mad Men) did the understated arch-villain Moriarty proud. Stephen Fry, half of the old comedy team Fry and (Hugh) Laurie, was delightful as Holmes’s quirky brother Mycroft. He called Downing “Sherly” — haha.

As for the women in the film…um, were there any women in the film? Huh…can’t recall.

Still, it was a borderline fun movie for a quiet Saturday night. If you don’t mind being nibbled to death by anachronistic ducks, give it a try. “Sherly” is, after all, pretty easy on the eyes.

On the Rat-O-Meter scale of five cheeses, I give Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows:
 

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Suzanne
17 June, 2012 8:39 am

I won’t even bother with this movie. Saw the first one and didn’t like it.

Hope you are having a nice weekend! *smewch* XOXOXO

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Suzanne
17 June, 2012 2:06 pm
Reply to  Rat Fink

Well I have a blister on each foot and my right hip was hurting but that seems to have subsided somewhat. Like you and your live performing, I think that an end of an era has come for me and no more marathons. Just hafta admit it! At least not full marathons, maybe halfs……

Glad you are having a boring weekend, they are good for you! Talked to my mom earlier and it’s hot and humid there. Also there in Oh-hi-ya?

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Suzanne
Suzanne
18 June, 2012 3:39 am
Reply to  Rat Fink

26 miles and 385 yards but who’s counting :-)

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Greg
Greg
17 June, 2012 10:56 am

I’m watching this film now–in sections. Some of the story is lifted in parts from other Arthur Conan Doyle’s Holmes stories. At least it looks that way. The film seems to have some “too dark” sections as well (or it could just be my television!) I prefer the film’s characterization of Watson from the original novels where he seems a bit thick. I’m holding off on final judgement until I finish watching it. I liked the first film though.

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Mavis
Mavis
17 June, 2012 12:50 pm

I adore RDJ! You and I watched the first one at the theater together and enjoyed it. I could watch him in just about anything. Yummy! I think RDJ is actually a very good actor. Those eyes of his just draw me into the character he plays. A couple of the movies he’s been in have been less than stellar, but his acting is always great. I haven’t seen the second Holmes movie, but the first one I thoroughly enjoyed. He’s hysterical!! Not too bad to look upon, either. I enjoyed Jude’s Law role as Watson, too. Looking forward to… Read more »

PKPudlin
17 June, 2012 5:47 pm

I liked both movies, but definitely the first better than the second. I can forgive a few anachronistic bloopers, but the second movie had too many slo-mo scenes that did nothing to enhance the story, in my humble opinion. I do like the smarter, braver Watson – he seems to balance out Holmes, whose eccentricity tends to be extreme at times. The Watson of the Rathbone movies was depicted as a dull and sluggardly person; someone I can hardly believe Holmes would be able to tolerate, much less have as a BFF. Jude Law’s Watson is a much better and… Read more »

Tom Hanks
Tom Hanks
18 June, 2012 8:01 am

Haven’t seen either of these Holmes flicks because I thought the adverts looked like a word people get offended if you use. The only Guy Ritchie film I saw and liked was “Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels” but it was a long time ago. The suspension of disbelief thing is getting out of control with todays big effects movies. (I stare at the screen in a state of numb boredom. In my head I can hear George Lucas talking to some yes-men on a behind the scenes clip from Star Wars Episode I. He speaks: “With todays technology we… Read more »

Tom Hanks
Tom Hanks
18 June, 2012 8:08 am
Reply to  Tom Hanks

I guess the jar jar binks clip has less to do with suspension of disbelief than with “just because you can doesn’t mean you should.” And also Star Wars Episode I was the beginning of all this nonsense.

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Tom Hanks
Tom Hanks
19 June, 2012 7:30 am
Reply to  Rat Fink

I may watch them sometime…I like banter and gags…no sarcasm haha.

George started all this nonsense with the first Star Wars back in 1977…and I guess it lead to some pretty ok things in the 80’s, but then he just had to come back and take it all right off the deep end. People can never leave things alone.

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