REVIEW: Sherlock Holmes: A Game Of Shadows

After the incredibly fun, amusing yet slightly overrated predecessor back in 2009, we are granted with another Christmas treat – the sequel, but this one looked a lot darker, perhaps funnier and more serious. Being a film based upon fictional legends, you’re going to have to fill in the realism of the 1800s, the actors to give solid performances as if they were really that character and yet to add a bit of comical concepts to it by mixing modern-day humour together with intense action with dazzling effects and make-up. Both of these films achieved this tremendously, but the sequel especially attains a darker dialogue, even more comedy and a lot stronger chemistry between the characters.

Having been approximately the 45th film adaptation of Sherlock Holmes up to his top game by unraveling mysteries, the one thing that has always been there with every single one is what you see within the films is what you get. The action sequences are more energetic, more intense and much more explosive in this sequel than in the predecessor. In addition to this there is another newly added style of filming that didn’t jeopardise the film as a whole but perhaps slowed down the pacing (especially when it’s meant to me an action film): there were too many slow-motion shots in too many segments.

Guy Ritchie, the director who wasn’t only behind the first Sherlock Holmes film but some of the most popular British crime films from the likes of Lock, Stock And Two Smoking Barrels, Snatch and RocknRolla. Already with the experience of more adult-themed films, he added again to this sequel some more mature dark humour and badass tone but something different by adding new kinds of comical characteristics including entertainment for youngsters and alongside intense action. So, after achieving this with both Sherlock Holmes films, Ritchie ought to consider making more films in the future that are related to those certain aspects.

Re-born shining star Robert Downey Jr. already charmed us with his fantastic performance in the 2009 predecessor as Sherlock Holmes and to no great surprise; he manages to do just that yet again in the sequel. If there is anything that Downey Jr’s role as Sherlock is somewhat identical to, it’d be Johnny Depp’s role as ‘Captain’ Jack Sparrow in the Pirates Of The Caribbean franchise due to the unorthodox nature, the sense of humour and how he treats his peers, not to mention the similar time settings and styles of filming. Jude Law returns as Dr. John Watson, and what a fantastic one it is! Although Watson is finally due to be married which alters his life, there is a slightly relationship between him and Holmes in the sequel as Watson is almost completely used by Holmes in this one. Watson is almost completely used by Holmes and is almost completely manipulated and patronised to Holmes’ pleasure but they are still friends. So, due to the humorous and strong chemistry between Downey Jr. and Jude Law on-screen, that is all the more reason with how well they perform together as such famously told characters.

Rachel McAdams doesn’t make as much of a crucial supporting female performance in this one as there is an opening twist that occurs. So, instead we have Noomi Rapace in her first English language film after her memorable performances in the Swedish Millennium trilogy as the eccentric Lisbeth Salander. We now witness her in a very different role this time and she reveals a whole new side to her that could make her become a future Hollywood star in years to come. Seeing an appearance in general from Stephen Fry is a real treat but the fact that he portrays Sherlock’s older brother Mycroft and provides the humour and charm that Fry has been able to achieve many times over the years. Jared Harris was also very good as primary villain Professor Moriarty who is perhaps more of a manipulative villain against Holmes than Mark Strong was in the predecessor.

Overall, Sherlock Holmes: A Game Of Shadows is a very fun and entertaining popcorn flick that is more emotional, funnier, more action-packed and perhaps stronger plot-wise than its predecessor. Neither films are anything to take seriously and are both unorthodox but at the same time typical Hollywood hits and just like Mission: Impossible films, what you see is what you get with Sherlock Holmes. This sequel certainly left a cliff-hanger ending and after the events that occurred, the series really must continue with a third installment.

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~ by SJMJ91 on 15/05/2012.

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