Sunday, January 29, 2012
Sherlock Holmes 2: A Game of Shadows (Guy Ritchie, 2011)
Much as with the original, the film belongs to the two co-leads, and the fact that they clearly had fun making the film rubs off on us in an infectious Hollywood romp with moments of ingenuity. Unlike with the first, Sherlock’s older brother rears his head, and here, he is played by flamboyant actor Stephen Fry. He is a hoot and a half, and one scene in particular where he is taking to Dr Watson’s wife (played by Kelly Reilly, gorgeous as always) wearing absolutely no clothes, is particularly amusing. There are also laughs to be had in Sherlock’s latest past time – camouflaging himself into his surroundings. As with another Hollywood crowdpleaser of 2011, Kung Fu Panda 2, this film wouldn’t be half as fun without the charms of its leading man.
Elsewhere in casting, Jared Harris makes for an excellent James Moriarty. Whilst he is not as outright creepy as Andrew Scott in the BBC’s modern day TV show, he has the more professorly element of Moriarty down to a T. His scenes with Downey Jr make for great a great cinematic showdown. Noomi Rapace, from the original Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, is also present in this film, with long hair this time, and whilst she isn’t given a whole lot to do in terms of acting, just her presence (she is someone who naturally exudes badass) contributes to the film’s awesome and contributes to its continental flavour as Sherlock, Watson and she and her gang go across enemy lines in order to catch Moriarty.
The big-screen outing of Sherlock Holmes 2 will invariable suffer in comparison to the second series of Mark Gatiss and Steven Moffat’s fantastic TV show, which, funnily enough, ends on a similar note as the film, albeit a much more sombre tone. Of course it’s not as good are as clever as the TV show; very few things are. But in its own right, it’s rollicking good fun. Guy Ritchie always does best when he’s playing it straight, as well as given a few decent fight scenes to direct, and he plays to his strengths here (he could, however, have toned it down with the over-stylisation in slow mos and too much sound editing). Downey Jr and Law have plenty of fun, the action sequences are entertaining, rendering this a worthwhile two hours.