Friday, June 15, 2012
Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows
I'd ordered Game of Shadows from Amazon so that I'd receive the DVD on the day that it was released, however I didn't get around to watching it until today. I liked it quite a bit, though it contained precious little ratiocination of the Conan Doyle variety. It was far more an action movie than a mystery, but I thought it quite a good action movie. Since TV's Sherlock is working the 'brilliant deduction' side of the street and doing it well, Robert Downey Jr. seems to be pushing the bohemian side of Holmes. His take is far more quirky than Benedict Cumberbatch's version of the character. Downey and Jude Law are comfortable in their roles as Holmes and Watson and the movie counts on their chemistry to carry it through the less convincing elements of the plot, which involves Holmes's nemesis, Professor James Moriarty in a bid to start a war in Europe so that he may profit by it. I was very taken with Jared Harris's performance as Moriarty. He really did seem like a Mathematics professor gone bad. I thought the script made good use of some actual Doyle dialogue from The Final Problem in a couple of places too. And I liked the fact that their final confrontation was mostly cerebral rather than physical. I did get a little tired of the Holmes and Watson as bickering old married couple bits, but I know a lot of fans really liked that part. Not the way I see the characters. Then again the original portrayal of the pair was far less 'buddy movie' like than the two most recent interpretations. Watson was always a steadfast admirer of Holmes. The new TV version and the movie version are far more critical of the great detective than Doyle's Watson. The movie has a big feel to it. Lavish sets. Exotic and varied locations. Obviously expensive production values. The portrayal of Victorian London is particularly sumptuous. This is the sort of thing that Hollywood does well. So yes, two thumbs up for Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows. It ain't canon, but it's a lot of fun.