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Saturday, 19 May 2012

Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows

I didn't catch this one on its cinema release but waited for the DVD, and I feel exactly the same about this one as I did about the first movie - it's not really Sherlock Holmes but it is a fun Victorian set action movie. There were times when the action came so thick and fast that I wasn't quite sure what was happening but Robert Downey is always watchable and the movie kept my interest for the most part. It's the kind of movie where you don't really have to pay attention because it jumps about all over the place and makes no structural sense. We travel quickly from one set piece to another with what went on in-between being largely inconsequential.

Visually the film looks superb and the chemistry between the two leads in spot on, but I don't know how many more films could be made in this series before its becomes tiresome. It was basically a repeat of the first movie and all the stylistic elements that director Guy Ritchie likes so much were present and correct - the slow motion fight scenes, the swooping camera work the dark locations and the camp highjinks. And you don't get much camper than this one - at one point you get Holmes prancing about in womens' undergarments and in another we have a naked Stephen Fry.  Downey also seems to be playing the subtext that Holmes is in love with Watson and resents inclusion of a wife into Watson's life.

 And to be perfectly honest this is not the kind of movie I usually watch but the Sherlock Holmes name dragged me in. And in a sense this could have been Starksey and Hutch in a Victorian setting, or even on times Laurel and Hardy, and there is little of Conan Doyle's Holmes in this movie. It's ironic but the film is in the correct Victorian setting and yet the BBC's modern day Sherlock contains more Holmes than this movie.

Still it's daft enough and loud enough to pass a couple of hours, but films like this are going to have to up the ante now that movies like The Avengers (the superheroes not the terrible version of John Steed's adventures)are proving that big budget action movies don't have to be dumb, and can make some kind of narrative sense.

To sum up it's okay but indistinguishable from a hundred other action flicks and it's most certainly not Sherlock Holmes.

1 comment:

buddy2blogger said...

I have not seen this movie, but I have some clips of Jared Harris's Morarity. He seems to be well cast as the criminal mastermind.

I plan to check out this movie just to see his performance.

Cheers!