Sunday, December 18, 2011

Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows

How you feel about this movie is likely to mirror how you felt about its predecessor: if you enjoyed that one, you'll have a great time at this one, too.

I very much liked both.

The plot this time is at least as convoluted as the original's, but that's okay; it's also easy to follow. Director Guy Ritchie drops enough clues, both verbal and visual, that you can follow along if you pay close attention--and nod appreciatively at the reveals if you don't. He uses the same gimmick during fights to show the workings of Holmes' mind, but it's entertaining enough that you don't mind.

What makes the movie really tick is Robert Downey, Jr.'s Holmes. The performance is spot on, alternately clear-eyed and crazy, but always intense.

The other leads are all also quite good, though none obviously as important. Jude Law's Watson is as solid as the character should be. Stephen Fry's small turns as Mycroft enrich the movie and make you want more of him. Jared Harris proves to be a wonderful Moriarity, radiating menace and intelligence and more than a hint of insanity at every turn.

All that said, with the weakest dialog and almost no role, Noomi Rapace steals the camera's focus whenever she's on screen. I will watch her in anything.

The entire film, of course, is silly and over the top and ultimately predictable, but that's nothing new; the first was the same.

I thoroughly enjoyed it, as I did its predecessor.

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