Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows (2011)

“The Law of Celestial Mechanics dictates that when two objects collide, there is always damage of a collateral nature.”

sherlock-holmes-a-game-of-shadows

Warner Bros. Pictures in association with Silver Pictures and Village Roadshow Pictures present…

From the continuing saga of the “World’s Greatest Detective” comes the sequel A Game of Shadows! Based on the popular works of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, the film was derived extensively from the story “The Final Problem” where the Author had to finally end the adventures of his fictional super sleuth and focus on his day job! Instead, with the public’s clamor and his mother’s strong advice…thankfully the game is still afoot!

One of British’s finest Directors is Guy Ritchie (Rock N Rolla) who makes a fantastic comeback not just for the characters but also in providing a well-written juxtaposed continuity! Guy gives it a bigger and better plot sending the “original” dynamic duo to save Monarchs and their countries from coercion to start a war! He maximizes his entire repertoire to give the audience all the amenities of action, comedy, drama and mystery! For the latter, not that much comparing from the first film but it helps to send the message across the border that someone with wealth, power and a whole new level of intelligence asserts himself to entangle the whole world in utter chaos!

Storytelling were given insight by both husband and wife Kieran (Paperman) and Michele Mulroney, they were able to set the tone to further access the life of the Detective also, to target specific the anti-thesis that elaborates the story in a grander scale! Mixing the right type of dialogue, the Writers were able to deliver the unsuspected “oxygen contraption” in the nick of time!

Robert Downey Jr. (Iron Man) and Jude Law (Repomen) returns to the big screen from their 2009 blockbuster hit Sherlock Holmes! They reprise their roles as the eccentric Consulting Detective and the always loyal Dr. Watson. Their off-put chemistry seems to be the tagline for the story to be conceived only as “brotherly love” not to be detrimental; it works on a given layer (as long as it stays there!)

Robert makes his portrayal so easy, his wit and comedy never falls flat in delivery and to his overall performance! Another strong asset was his understanding of Baritsu, the self-defence martial arts captured in its best form from a camera’s point of view to the viewer! Jude on the other hand, has given the “side-kick” persona into the well received Doctor, inexplicably fascinated with Sherlock both as a partner in crime fighting and as a friend! On a side note, it comes to a point in time where one has to get married while the other will have so solve crimes on his own…or so it seems!

Professor James Moriarty, an enigmatic and ruthless criminal mastermind, a math genius and dubbed by Holmes as the “Napoleon of Crime”! He was born and raised with wealth which gave him the best education, derived from Scotland Yard’s own notorious criminal files, his name was Adam Worth and to another malicious Astronomer Simon Newcomb who likes to destroy other scientists’ reputation for his own benefit!

You would really despise Jared Harris (To the Ends of the Earth)as he is absolutely demented, he gives life to the “would be world conqueror” having spun the enormity of his web of diabolical proportions has made him “interested “ with his recent endeavors for the Detective’s mind to keep busy!

A little tit-for-tat with the thief for hire Irene Adler played by the always alluring Rachel McAdams (The Time Traveller’s Wife) which jumpstarted the premise and sets it in motion! Other supporting casts were extraordinary even for Stanley the Butler! Stephen Fry (V for Vendetta) is the aloof elder brother Mycroft Holmes, an indispensable chap from the British Government who Sherlock says has far more intellect than he is but rather being stagnant leaving his younger brother to always do the leg work while Moriarty’s ace assassin Col. Sebastian Moran played by Paul Anderson (A Lonely Place to Die) the best sniper in the British Army who served in Afghanistan and was given a dishonorable discharge which was not disclosed as of the moment!

The film was entertaining but got lesser approval ratings on its dragging back-story and escapades, which should have been focused on the “bigger fish to fry”! I can say it’s a let go seeing that there were instances that was not necessary to linger on; one example would be the lost brother segment and the gypsy encampment scenes! It had an intriguing start that gave emphasis on what was going on between countries on the verge of conflict and culminating it to a very profound, gasping for air ending!

From the original standpoint of the Author’s “Final Problem” narrative, it says that Holmes was attacked a few times which correspond to the movie’s sequences from the thugs getting beaten by Holmes, one of them was carrying a cosh or in modern times is called a nightstick and another was the cannon fired which brought down a wall and bricks which flung all over the place including to Holmes and Watson’s direction. The shoot out and mortar heavy scenes in the forest were amazing using slow motion capture to visualize the veracity of ballistics toring up trees and flesh makes the word “incoming” better suited to be left unsaid…and just run for your lives!

An inquiry or better yet a statement cannot be set aside seeing that both protagonists at the Switzerland Peace Summit were “dancing” together! Why would the Director and Writer’s imply on something that was not even mandated giving the film more speculation on the “bromance” of the two! Are they pouring more gasoline into the fire?

Cinematography was handled once more by French 1992 Academy Awards and BAFTA Winner Philippe Rousselot (The Big Fish) where he incorporates a hands down pivotal screen shots from Greenwich, London to Strasbourg, France that invigorates the senses while fan favorite 2008 Academy Award Winner Hans Zimmer (Batman Begins) brings in his usual bespoke sound combining the fancy saloon piano while giving it a “kick” through an upbeat tempo from the string section! Making it fast paced with a mystery being hefty on the background!

Recently, I concluded the two outstanding series of Sherlock on BBC TV which they have made it so seamlessly written and unique in its own way! Showing how Writers Mark Gatiss and Stephen Moffat pictured the powerful and moving climax of Moriarty and Holmes in the episode “The Reichenbach Falls” while Director Guy Ritchie version made it direct and personal coming from the original work.

It got me applauding even when a chess game being played suddenly been inclined into a verbal stand-off while preparing for the inevitable “physical prowess” between the rivalry of the greatest minds on the planet! I didn’t realize how they would be able to encapsulate the fight scenes with so much detail and excitement which makes it so palpable!

Garnering more than $440 million worldwide is a genuine feat to accomplish seeing that it presents a certified blockbuster coming from the recent winter holidays! After this, there were two significant stories that culminate the pre and post hiatus of Sherlock Holmes death which should be tackled in the coming sequels… a Hound and an Empty House wouldn’t you agree?

 

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