The thing with SHERLOCK HOLMES: A GAME OF SHADOWS is the same as it was with the first movie. Allow me to elaborate. This man indeed is a wondrous legend on paper. When Conan Doyle created the character of Holmes; the detective with his top hat and smoke pipe from 221B Baker Street he inked down a man with great thinking powers, a man who does most of his works in the minds’ eye. A mystery solver. What Guy Ritchie did in 2009 and what he is doing once again is enhancing Sherlock with guns, explosion, cinematography and some fine action sequences. The movie is brilliant on its own and the books are brilliant on their own. The moment you mix this up you would either be a hater of one and a fan of the other, which is the case with every movie that’s adapted from a book. I loved the books and I surely love SHERLOCK HOLMES: A GAME OF SHADOWS.
The most obvious next question is what’s the better movie? My opinion, both movies are indeed great. The 2009 picture looks better at times, since it was the first of its kind in this period of cinema. It gave a new face to Sherlock and Watson back in 2009 and this time it’s just another story for the same faces. Also it would be only fair to state that seeing Holmes comprehend a situation proactively before he attacks his enemy was quite a treat back in 2009 and came as a surprise back then. This time not so much? On the other hand the 2011 version of Holmes takes him back to an almost identical version of the character as it was written in the books by Conan Doyle. Holmes is a man who does most of his work in his head, this is his signature move. This time Guy Ritchie focuses more of connecting Holmes and Watson back to the basics to avoid any slander from the critics who love to always compare his work with Conan Doyle’s. Therefore on a very neutral level the answer to the question in my opinion is in terms of originality the 2009 productions gets the win and in terms of sincerity to the source of the fictional character Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson the 2011 version takes the bow.
There is trouble in Baker Street again and the man himself needs to stop Professor Moriarty (Javed Harris) from destroying the lovely set of Victorian London, Paris and Switzerland. Yes I did mention the word set deliberately. Just as it was in 2009, Guy Ritchie without a doubt hits it way out of the ball park and over the next few football fields as well with his cinematography and the Victorian London set the movie is shot in. The movie does move a tad bit too fast making it hard for the viewer to actually savor its true beauty. It reminds me a little of Hogwarts itself. What Guy Ritchie lacked in terms of pace and intensity in the earlier stages of the movie he matches up with this glorious treat for the eyes. There are a few obvious moments of frustration evident in the movie at first to create the require sense of interest. Some unnecessary acrobatics at the bachelors’ party of Dr. Watsons makes it quite obvious making the fight sequences a bit of a farce.
Great movie, in fact it did feel like somewhat being at the opera. Just as when the first moments began to pull the entire plot down, it woke everyone up with a bang and gradually excelled itself to a decent climax. Watch out for the part when they use Hansel to hunt Holmes and Watson down. Some great tools used by a great director performed by great actors to compile the great movie!
Title: Sherlock Holmes; A Game of Shadows
Starring: Robert Downey Jr, Jude Law, Noomi Rapace, Rachel McAdams, Stephen Fry and Jared Harris