Bagley Insurance: Service, Value & Education For All Your Insurance Needs

Movie Review – Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows

The new Sherlock Holmes movie came out last week receiving mediocre reviews, and I don’t understand why.  It was one of the most fun movies of the year, Robert Downey, Jr. and Jude Law were hilarious, and the story was superior to the first installment.  Like the first film, the movie was a bit long and slow at times, but, for the most part, everything worked.  This movie deserves your attention.

Bringing in Holmes’ rival, Professor James Moriarty, played brilliantly by Jared Harris (probably best know for his role on TV’s Mad Men), was a smart move on the part of the filmmakers.  What didn’t work for me was Madam Simza Heron (played by The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo’s Noomi Rapace).  Rapace does a good job, but the character doesn’t really do much and seems unnecessary.  Rachel McAdams’s Irene Adler was a much more interesting character and is missed here as she only gets a few minutes of screen time. 

However, this is Holmes and Watson’s movie, and thankfully the focus is squarely on them throughout.  They have great chemistry, and it is their relationship that is the driving force behind the film.  They bicker constantly, but they would clearly do anything to protect the other. 

There are a few faults if you get really picky.  Guy Ritchie’s fast-motion/slow-motion editing techniques work at times, but are just plain distracting at other times.  There is a chase in the forest that seems to go on forever with so much slow-motion.  It seems unnecessary.  However, it works great in the fight scenes, which are well choreographed and fun to watch.  It is cool how well Ritchie’s unique directing and editing style works in an adventure set in the early 1900s, but it would be nice to see a bit more restraint on his part.

I can’t help but compare this movie to Indiana Jones.  Like Jones, Holmes is an adventure/comedy set it the not-too-distant past.  In both films they are trying to solve a great puzzle that takes them all over the world.  In some ways, Holmes is everything the newest Indy movie (The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull) wasn’t: namely, it was fun and realistic throughout.  Skull felt like it was filmed entirely in front of a green screen.  With Holmes, it was clear that they filmed much of it on location (or at least it felt that way).  Whether they were or not, all of the set pieces felt genuine and real, making for a more engaging and realistic experience for the moviegoer.  While George Lucas is trying to go bigger, louder, and more surreal, Holmes is simple, fun, and engaging.  Indy was a huge disappointment for movie fans, and Holmes delivers on almost every level.

Sherlock Holmes is a fun movie, plain and simple.  Robert Downey, Jr. proves again that he’s one of the best actors working today, and I’m looking forward to his upcoming ‘Avengers’ movie next summer.  Despite the poor reviews by critics, Holmes managed a $40 million opening weekend.  Hopefully that means we’ll get another go-around in a few years.

Leave a Reply