SHERLOCK HOLMES: A GAME
SYNOPSIS: Sherlock Holmes has always been the smartest man in the room...until now. There is a new criminal mastermind at large—Professor James Moriarty (Jared Harris)—and not only is he Holmes' intellectual equal, but his capacity for evil, coupled with a complete lack of conscience, may give him an advantage over the renowned detective.
Around the globe, headlines break the news: a scandal takes down an Indian cotton tycoon; a Chinese opium trader dies of an apparent overdose; bombings in Strasbourg and Vienna; the death of an American steel magnate... No one sees the connective thread between these seemingly random events—no one, that is, except the great Sherlock Holmes, who has discerned a deliberate web of death and destruction. At its center sits a singularly sinister spider: Moriarty.
Holmes' investigation into Moriarty's plot becomes more dangerous as it leads him and Watson out of London to France, Germany and finally Switzerland. But the cunning Moriarty is always one step ahead, and moving perilously close to completing his ominous plan. If he succeeds, it will not only bring him immense wealth and power but alter the course of history.
REVIEW: Detective Sherlock Holmes is still “working the case” as they say. His trusty sidekick, Dr. Watson (Jude Law) is about to be married to his sweet Mary and begin a life more fit for a Doctor. But wait! Europe, and possibly the world’s peace is at risk with mysterious bombs going off at the most inopportune moments and places. Now is not the time for Dr. Watson to retire into obscure domesticity.
If you watched the first Sherlock Holmes movie, you know that Robert Downey Jr.’s Holmes is not what we might remember from the classic book series. This Holmes uses extremely unusual methods to prepare for a case, such as abstaining from food and surviving on “tobacco, coffee and coca leaves” as Mrs. Hudson advises Dr. Watson.
Right from the start, Holmes knows more than well who is at the helm of these crimes, Professor James Moriarty, played to sinister perfection by Jared Harris. There is almost, dare I say, admiration of intellect between Moriarty and Holmes. It is enjoyable to see the wheels spinning as Holmes analyzes Moriarty’s moves but there is one unusual aspect in this one and that is that Holmes actually misses the mark on a couple of occasions. As I have said before, I am a huge fan of the Sherlock Holmes stories and although I didn’t think anyone could do justice to the films better than Basil Rathbone, there is just something so deliciously exciting about seeing Mr. Downey in this part. There is one slight complaint I have about his portrayal this time and that is that instead of his having moments where he is “out of it” he seems to spend much of the film in this state.
A Game of Shadows can not be called a mystery. It is more like a “catch me if you can” film. Holmes practically hijacks Dr. Watson from his honeymoon and off they go chasing Moriarty through out Europe. Rachel McAdams makes a brief, albeit poignant cameo as Holmes love interest Irene Adler that affects his emotions throughout. Along for this ride is newcomer Noomi Rapace as Madam Simza Heron, a beautiful and mysterious gypsy in search of answers to her brother’s cryptic notes and drawings. The views are beautiful, the costumes perfect to period but what I loved the most were the guns. Yes, that’s right, I said the guns. Little known Priscilla fact, I love German artillery and lets just say I get my satisfaction in this movie. There is also a “blink and you’ll miss it” hilarious dance scene, but you’ll see what I mean when you go.
When I originally heard that the Sherlock Holmes films were being directed by Guy Ritchie, well lets just say I was not thrilled or impressed. Sorry, but the projects he was involved in while “Mr. Madonna” were not stellar works of cinematography. I have to eat my words though. With the first one I thought, great work but is it a fluke? With this 2nd film under his belt, he has totally won me over as a fan. I guess I have to say that I probably liked A Game of Shadows even better than I did the first Sherlock Holmes film. Go see it.
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Director: Guy Ritchie
Writer: Michele Mulroney, Kieran Mulroney
Genre: Action Adventure
Duration: 2hrs 9mins
Staring: Robert Downey Jr.
Producer Susan Downey
Rating: PG-13 for intense sequences of
violence and action, and some
Release Date: December 16, 2011
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