Sherlock Holmes: a Game of Shadows Movie Review
Pretty damned good.
It is always nice to see something decent after being subjected to the film equivalent of a flesh eating virus. Thursday night I dragged myself to New Years Eve, and truly regretted it. Last night I went to see Sherlock Holmes and was reminded that there is still some good in the world (of movies). This movie is in all ways entertaining and exciting, with great writing, dialog, acting, and action.
It is, of course, a grandiose story of Sherlock Holmes, the greatest fictional detective ever (actually, I would claim Batman as the greatest fictional detective ever, but that’s just a personal preference. Batman image courtesy of the Batman T Shirt category) and his friend Dr. Watson. They are attempting to prevent the infamous Moriarty from literally destroying Western Civilization.
I’m not going to get too deep into the story, as I spent literally hours yesterday writing up that dumb New Years movie and have a lot to do today, but it starts off with Holmes (Robert Downey Jr.-Iron Man, of course) dealing with the impending marriage of his long time companion Dr. Watson (Jude Law-actually, some good movies here that no one but me likes. The Road to Perdition, Cold Mountain, and Enemy at the Gates to name a few). Meanwhile, he rescues a hot Gypsy fortune teller (Naomi Rapace-the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo et al) who’s brother is involved in a secret plan cooked up by Moriarty (Jared Harris-Natural Born Killers, Resident Evil Apocalypse). They are aided by Holmes’ brother Mycroft (Stephen Fry-V for Vendetta, a bunch of other roles calling for a smarmy over-educated pasty white guy). I expect you all to see this film, so I don’t want to throw too much into this. Stuff blows up, Holmes deduces stuff, and a lot of fairly cool action occurs.
The stars. I know I’m a sucker for English accents, but the dialog couldn’t be more perfect. The language and diction was perfectly in period of the late 19th century England. Two stars. Well written story. Two stories. Excellent performances by literally everyone. Two stars. They did this really cool quick cut sequences thing to show how Sherlock Holmes’s deductive brain worked. One star. There were some shooting and running slow motion action scenes that were really cool. One star. A couple of really cool plot twists. One star. There was a ton of really funny humor seamlessly mixed into the dialog. One star. The onscreen relationship between Watson and Holmes felt really real and genuine. I know this is just a reflection of the excellent acting talents of Robert and Jude, but still it was refreshing to see. One star. Mycroft was outstanding in every scene he was in. One star. So was Moriarty. One star. And two bonus stars for a good movie experience. Total: fourteen stars.
The black holes. This is just a reflection of my own stupidity, but the combination of Robert Downey Jr. fast deliver plus the English accent meant I kept missing what I felt were either funny or plot critical points. One black hole, although that’s really for my slow brain. I felt the whole Dr. Watson marriage and his wife’s character were kind of unnecessary. I don’t think they added much to the story, especially once the wife more or less fell off the screen. One black hole. That’s it. Two black holes.
In the vexing but not black hole worthy, I really only have one and it galls me like a burning coal in my gut to say this, but I honestly think this movie would have been better in 3D. Gah, I can’t believe I just wrote that! I hate 3D. However, there were a number of scenes involving artillery shells, knives, and bullets that would have looked cool in 3D. OK, I said it. I’m going to go flagellate myself after finishing this review in punishment.
So a grand total of twelve stars and my recommendation that you see it in the theater. Some of the epic scenes will lose impact on a smaller screen. Good date movie, as your date will probably be entertained by the clever English dialog. Also she could possibly fill you in on any of the dialog you missed (going to the movies by yourself sucks. Trust me, I know).
Sorry about the short review, but when I like a movie I don’t usually find a lot to write about. I am happy to report that the movie I unleashed all the bile in my life upon yesterday, New Years Eve, tanked horribly and is being counted as a film failure in spite of the celebrity lineup. Well, done, America. You reaffirm my faith in humanity. Follow me on Twitter @NerdKungFu. Thanks for reading. Talk to you soon.