Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows is a little too blockbuster for its own good

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      Starring Robert Downey Jr., Jude Law, and Noomi Rapace. Rated PG

      It’s kind of like Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows was made by hyperliterate coke fiends or something. Which, okay, has some weird appropriateness, given that our favourite Baker Street detective does enjoy his coca leaves. But besides that, Guy Ritchie, your crazed and exasperating movie seriously makes a person want to go lock, stock, and two smoking barrels on your ass.

      Really, it’s perfectly fine that this Sherlock and its predecessor have taken major hipper-than-thou liberties with Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s literary gig. We like steampunk, honest. And who’s got a beef with that nutso, fidgety smarty-pants Robert Downey Jr. playing the main man? Nay, no one here.

      Plus, in this installment we get Stephen Fry being funny as Holmes’s politically savvy, very big bro, Mycroft, and Jared Harris (Mad Men) playing diabolical nemesis Professor James Moriarty. Oh, but right, there’s also Noomi Rapace (the original Girl With the Dragon Tattoo girl, natch) as a Gypsy ally. Guy, you like badasses, right? So why’d you marginalize the awesomely badass Rapace as though she’s Katherine Heigl or a Cabbage Patch Kid doll?

      But mostly, tedious blockbuster stuff happens, along with rabid, superficially clever banter between Downey Jr. and Jude Law (whose Dr. Watson is rather a tad blank) that’s not as excellently entertaining (save for some choice bits) as everybody seemingly thought it was. The plot involves Moriarty orchestrating political assassinations and building up armaments, or something. But who has the noggin power for that, when one of our otherwise favourite directors’ slut-monkey love for manically stylized editing and slo-mo is messing with our tiny, tender brain cells?

      It’s a grittily stunning-looking film, all right, but if only it all could have been more, well, elementary, dear Guy. And, er, no, you can’t blame this one on Madonna.

      Watch the trailer for Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows.


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      Jill Kennedy

      Dec 16, 2011 at 10:42am

      It looks fun to me. It helps to have great source material and characters. It feels like they whipped off the sequel too quickly. Didn't the first one just leave theaters? Oh, well - I'll check it out at some point over the holidays. Here's my favorite review so far - from a Finnish film critic who seems to be writing for stoners.