'Game of Shadows' continues quirky detective's tale (VIDEO)
Downing, Law combine acting talents, display camaraderie through characters
Following the success of its 2009 predecessor, the Sherlock Holmes franchise was continued with its second installment, A Game of Shadows. Despite some unrealistic plot points, the movie proved to be as intriguing as the first film with more comedy dispersed throughout. Running at 129 minutes, the film is rated PG-13 for some drug material, intense sequences of violence and intense sequences of action.
Directed by Guy Ritchie, Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows premiered, Dec. 16. Starring Robert Downey Jr. as Sherlock Holmes and Jude Law as Dr. James Watson, this unbeatable pair returned to deliver the second Holmes movie in the current franchise. The excellent special effects and intense action scenes packed full of explosions and harrowing scenarios made it identical to the first in quality, but it surpassed the first in comedy.
A Game of Shadows begins with Holmes, the famous and brilliant detective, requesting that the newly-betrothed Watson embark on one final adventure before saying his vows and settling down to a more peaceful lifestyle. Watson hesitantly agrees, and Holmes fills him in on the case they are about to undertake.
When the Crown Prince of Austria is found dead, suicide is said to be the cause of his passing. However, Holmes suspects that his arch nemesis, the remorseless Professor James Moriarty (Jared Harris), is behind the prince's death.
As more evidence is revealed, it points to Moriarty's involvement, and the detective and his assistant uncover startling information regarding a plot much more deeply intricate than they could have imagined. If executed properly, Moriarty's plans posses the power to alter the course of history.
Overall, the sequel entertained and impressed me. Downey Jr. and Law's roles suited them well and I especially enjoyed the comedic aspects of their adventures.
Downey Jr.'s numerous disguises were just one of the many aspects of physical humor that helped to lighten the generally dark tone of A Game of Shadows. His portrayal of the eccentric detective was admirably done. He succeeded in continuing to develop his character's personality in a hilarious and endearing way, while drawing respect from viewers with his intelligence and ability to solve complex mysteries.
Law's performance was equally impressive. His role as Holmes' level-headed partner and friend was touching to watch. Although his character was less crazy and slightly more emotional than Holmes, their differing personalities balanced each other out nicely, making their partnership work perfectly.
"I definitely enjoyed A Game of Shadows and I highly recommend that others interested in viewing the continuing story of Holmes and Watson's adventures while experiencing wonderful acting coupled with intriguing special effects see it as well." --Austen Houts, '12
Likewise, Harris's portrayal of a heartless genius was very believable. He thoroughly captured the essence of an evil professor bent on pursuing his own selfish ambitions, willing to inflict destruction and pain on anyone attempting to stand in his way.
The score, composed by Hans Zimmer, featured folksy, Celtic songs. The music was comprised mainly of stringed instruments, which provided a darkly intense feel and created tension in the scenes.
My favorite part of the movie was the slow motion scenes where Holmes mentally calculated the outcome of his encounters with those intending to harm him. The special effects and complex choreography of these fight scenes made the movie incredibly interesting to watch.
While viewing A Game of Shadows, I was a bit confused in regards to the plot, but this was probably my own fault as it was way past my bedtime and I was incredibly tired. The idea of early 1900s plastic surgery that is advanced enough to alter one's face to exactly resemble someone else's is not believable. This aspect of the plot was ridiculous, albeit intriguing.
The surprising twist at the end of the movie was also unrealistic and differed from the canon's original ending, however I did not mind the change as it provided the possibility of turning Sherlock Holmes into a trilogy. If a third movie were shot, I would certainly return to see it.
I definitely enjoyed A Game of Shadows and I highly recommend that others interested in viewing the continuing story of Holmes and Watson's adventures while experiencing wonderful acting coupled with intriguing special effects see it as well.
Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows is rated PG-13 for some drug material, intense sequences of violence and intense sequences of action. The movie runs at 129 minutes and is playing at most local theaters. For tickets and showtimes, visit Fandango.
For more movie reviews, read the Dec. 5 article, 'Muppets' proves to be year's 'happiest' movie yet.