Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Man on Film: Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows

While it wasn't for everybody, I actually liked the first installment in Guy Ritchie's Sherlock Holmes series. The energy between the three lead actors--Robert Downey, Jr., Jude Law, and Rachel McAdams--was intoxicating, and their banter was engaging.

Unfortunately, nearly everything that worked in the first one is absent from Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows. The witty banter is largely missing. The chemistry between Downey and McAdams is gone because she is taken out of the picture in the first ten minutes. She is replaced with the leaden Noomi Rapace, whose Roma fortune teller brings little to the tale. The dialogue between the rakish Holmes and Watson lacks the verve that was present in the first.

And despite the fact that he's finally facing off against the supervillain, Dr. James Moriarty (played effectively by Jared Harris), the action sequences, especially the one in the woods, are so obfuscated by Guy Ritchie's infatuation with that herky-jerky, computer-generated, stop-and-start editing of action set pieces as to have been rendered completely unintelligible.

If you liked the first one, this is quite a let-down. If you didn't, you'd like it even less.


j.carol said...

That's quite the review. What did you think about Holmes' death and funeral? Then showing up at Watson's home disguised as the chair while Watson writes an entire novel about him?

Josh Duggan said...

That disguise was funny, although I was looking for him in the room the whole time. Watson writing about Holmes was touching, and sort of reset you for wanting another film even though you had just sat through a dull sequel.

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