…based on Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s books, written by Michele Mulroney and Kieran Mulroney, directed by Guy Ritchie, starring Robert Downey Jr., Jude Law, Noomi Rapace, and Jared Harris.
Pros: This is another up-tempo, clever, detective/buddy cop/caper in true Guy Ritchie mode. Downey and Law continue their great chemistry as Holmes and Watson.
Cons: Sherlock purists may have some complaints with authenticity. That’s about it.
Review: With so many poorly done big budget, large-scale movies and sequels being produced, it’s good to see one actually work. That’s Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows, which brings collaborators Ritchie, RDJr., and Law together again. We are pretty big fans of all three of these guys, and were looking forward to Sherlock 2 since hearing it was in production.
The movie was every bit as enjoyable as the first one, which we lauded a few years back. Sherlock 2 picks up right where the last one left off, with Holmes on the trail of Professor Moriarty (expertly portrayed by Jared Harris) and in seeming denial about the impending marriage of Watson. Investigating a series of bombings across Europe, Holmes quickly connects these events to unseen hands attempting to escalate European nationalists to a war-time fervor.
When Sherlock confronts Moriarty with his suspicions, the Professor makes it clear that no one close to Holmes will be safe if Sherlock continues to pursue matters – even after Holmes takes great pains to explain that Watson will no longer factor in due to his impending marriage. And so Watson soon finds himself embroiled in the caper, and the game is truly afoot.
Holmes and Watson find themselves avoiding careful traps, tracking clues, and making the kind of daring escapes you would expect. While doing, so Guy Ritchie is setting up his familiar visual narrative conventions (like Holmes’ ability to predict the moves of a fight), and presiding over the great timing and chemistry between RDJr. and Law. Again, with these two it’s like a great buddy cop movie from days gone by. Ritchie also has fun with his art design people, painting this wonderful elaborate picture of late Victorian London (and Paris and Germany).
At the heart of matters is RDJr’s reprisal of Holmes as this great manic genius – a detective who observes all the details, then deduces with superhuman speed and skill. But this time he’s match by Moriarty, who is every bit his equal. It’s clever, fast-moving, and superior big-screen entertainment. See it in the theater while you can.
Bottom Line: We hope Ritchie, RDJr. and Law keep on making these Sherlock movies every few years. They are a notch or three above the action-caper norm.