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Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows(DVD)

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6 Reviews

Genre: Crime & Thriller / To Be Announced / Actors: Robert Downey Jr., Jude Law ... / Features of the DVD: PAL

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    6 Reviews
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      02.12.2012 17:29
      Very helpful



      Lets have fun with Sherlock Holmes?

      Star - Rob Downey-Junior
      Genre - Action
      County - USA/UK
      Certificate - 12A
      Run Time - 129 minutes
      Blockbusters - £3.50 per night
      Amazon - £.500 DVD (£8.00Blue Ray)

      There's no doubt there's a lot more to Guy Ritchie than cockney gangsters, handling the blue screen brilliantly here and raking in colossal money for Warner Brother's studios with his action packed take on the classic Sherlock Holmes adventures. The Conan - Doyle estate allowed the rites to lapse in the United Kingdom in 1980 to the Sherlock Holmes name and so pretty much anyone could make a film or write a book about the famous detective, Guy Ritchie's version drawing mix reviews for swapping Holmes deerstalker and pipe for an American and minigun. But action sells and coupled with the brilliant and clever TV series with Benedict Cumberbatch, Holmes is once again the coolest detective on Earth, 130 years after his creation. The Gunnies Book of records lists Sherlock as the most played character on screen with 70 different actors playing him in over 200 films.

      Game of Shadows is a titular affair based loosely on an original Sir Arthur Conan Doyle tale, 'The Final Problem', the lawyers still able to protect some aspects of the archive and so the version can't be too familiar. The chess metaphor this is based on is rather cliché and old fashioned though and so you can feel the screenplay trying rather too hard to adhere to the original material to hold on to those fans whilst trying to be fresh and different to bring in the kids, an elementary conflict dear Watson. But as its been done to death then why not and fair play to Guy Ritchie for mixing things up.


      Robert Downey Jr. ... Sherlock Holmes
      Jude Law ... Dr. John Watson
      Noomi Rapace ... Madam Simza Heron
      Rachel McAdams ... Irene Adler
      Jared Harris ... Professor James Moriarty
      Stephen Fry ... Mycroft Holmes
      Paul Anderson ... Colonel Sebastian Moran
      Kelly Reilly ... Mary Watson
      Geraldine James ... Mrs. Hudson
      Jack Laskey ... Carruthers
      Eddie Marsan ... Inspector Lestrade
      William Houston ... Constable Clark
      Wolf Kahler ... Doctor Hoffmanstahl


      Its 1891...

      Femme fetal Irene Adler (Rachael McAdams) delivers a package to a Doctor Hoffmanstahl (Wolf Kahler), a payment for a letter he has to deliver. Opening the package will trigger a terrorist bomb across the city, Sherlock Holmes in deep disguise arriving just in time to stop that happening. Irene has been double-crossed by Professor Moriarty (Jared Harris). But another bomb across the city will claim the life of Hoffmanstahl after all, someone tidying up loose ends.

      Back at 221B Baker Street in London, England, Holmes intends to investigate the conspiracy that links those terrorist attacks with arms companies and many other murders, Moriarty the number one suspect. But before that they have to celebrate the stag night of Dr Watson (Jude Law), who is marrying Mary Baston ( Kelly Reilly).

      The investigation catapults them across the Channel to France, where they meet a mysterious gypsy woman, Madam Simza Heron (Noomi Rapace), taking nettle wine and hedgehog before they enlist her help for their case, a favor returned after Holmes saved her from an assassin at Watson's celebration, brother Mycroft Holmes (Stephen Fry) of the secret service able to aid them further to help protect Britain's involvement in Moriarty's cunning ploy.

      During Watsons honeymoon on the Orient Express we discover Holmes is also on the train in disguise, unbeknown to the happy couple, Moriarty sending his henchman to kill the newly weds and so Holmes there as protection. It seems Professor Moriarty's dastardly plan to try and spark war in Europe by plotting to kill various leaders and blame it on the others is being interrupted by his willingness to go head-to-head with the Baker St duo, his fascination and respect for Holmes as an equal a rather pleasing distraction.


      With the irrepressible Rob Downey Jr sending up Oxbridge England and teasing Jude Law with plenty of gay in-jokes you can't help but like Guy Ritchie's 'shoot em up' version. Enough fans certainly love it and the second two has done a very impressive $543 million gross to date from just a $40 million budget. RDJ is Hollywood's most charismatic and intelligent actor and if you can get him in your movies you're laughing all the way to the bank. I'm not such a big fan of Jude Law and his mission to become the young Michael Caine but each to their own. There is chemistry on screen but Law clearly not the leading man he had hoped to be in his career, why he is playing Watson instead to Holmes.

      The tacky chess game metaphor is all part of the fun and the plot surprisingly topical, arms companies encouraging war at the very top level of government or they are out of business more prescient than you think. Moriarty may as well be Tony Blair.

      The action sequences rely heavily on CGI, as does the creation of old London and Paris, barely 20% of the movie real-time. But there's more than enough blue screen scenery for Downey Jr to chew on and my word he does, having the best fun as he plays it 100% for laughs. Noomi Rapace, a starey eyed unconventional beauty, doesn't quite get it and refuses to smile or flirt with the camera all through the movie, as she did in Prometheus, perhaps not wanting to lose her emancipated female edge onscreen. It's left to blustery windbag Stephen Fry prancing around buck naked to draw the best couple of laughs.

      On the whole the film is this perfectly enjoyable two hours and great knockabout fun for most ages and hard not to like what RDJ is doing on screen. CGI has allowed for ambitious special effect movies like this to be made and who cares if it's used to send up our most famous detective. Movies are escapism and there to entertain and this certainly does that, an excellent Sunday afternoon romp to rent with a glass of wine and snacks!


      Imdb.com - 7.5 /10.0 (168,123 votes)
      Metacritc.com - 61% critic's approval rating
      Rottentomatos.com -48% critic's approval rating


      The Guardian -'As Johnny Depp has done so brilliantly with his devilish Jack Sparrow, Downey has made this sly sardonic Sherlock stylistically all his own. Case closed'.

      The Movie News -'The whole movie, chock full of queer undertone, is one long sly smile-and deliciously so'.

      New Yorker -'It's complete trash and makes a mockery of Holmes's vaunted deductive reasoning'.

      The Times -'Welcome to the 21st Century edition of Sherlock Holmes, a well-rounded gent as likely to flex his brawn as his brain!'

      Rolling Stone -'In an act of criminal negligence, Ritchie has wasted Robert Downey Jr. in a sequel that eliminates smarts in favor of relentless head banging'.

      = = = Special Feature = = =

      -Sherlock Holmes & Dr Watson: A perfect chemistry-

      They actually employed a 'chess consultant' to get the chess game and metaphors right

      -Moriarty Masterplan: Unleashed-

      -Holmes Vision on Roids-

      Guy Ritchie does the thing where Holmes rehearses a fight or sequence in his head before it happens and its good fun.

      = = = = = = = = = = = = =



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        13.09.2012 14:38
        Very helpful



        A decent action thriller

        Sherlock Holmes: A game of shadows is the sequel to Sherlock Holmes and brings back Robert Downey Jr as Holmes and Jude Law as Dr. Watson to fight the elusive Professor Moriarty. This film is loosely based on Arthur Conan Doyle's the final problem which has Holmes and Moriarty fighting at the Reichenbach Falls in Austria.

        I've been a lover of the Sherlock Holmes short stories and novella's ever since a child, I love the analytical aspect of Holmes' mind and how the answer to the problem is always there at the crime scene but you just need to know how to look for them. These books were written in the late 19th century decades before a dedicated crime scene officers, forensics or even the basics such as fingerprints, blood testing etc. What would Holmes have made of DNA and offender profiling?

        Anyway after watching the original film I was dismayed by what had happened to Holmes, Watson etc and how they had somehow been converted into action heroes, this in my mind was a complete reversal of the analytical dispassionate Holmes of the stories. So I went away and re-read the original short stories and had to concede that there are occasions of great violence in the novels with Watson often asked to make sure he had his service revolver but the violence is usually referred to in a second hand way such as Holmes referring to so and so becoming a bit aggressive. So I watched the film again and once I accepted I was watching an interpretation I enjoyed the film so onto the sequel: A game of Shadows.

        I know that any Holmes interpretation or re-invention will always use the character of Professor Moriarty; he's the most famous of all Holmes adversaries and was used by Arthur Conan Doyle as a means of killing off Holmes so he could pursue other characters (it didn't work as he had to bring him back three years later). Professor Moriarty is a strange character in some ways because he only really features in 3 of Holmes' short stories and only really in A Valley of fear and the final problem but he is first mentioned in the red-headed league because Holmes' mentions that the criminal underground is controlled by a master villain.

        Sherlock Holmes:A game of Shadows begins with the preventing of a bomb for an eminent doctor by Holmes, however, the doctor is killed immediately afterwards. Holmes is convinced that the crimes in and around Europe have been choreographed by one man a seemingly eminent Oxford Professor Moriarty. He interferes with Watson's marriage and Watson and his wife are attacked by Moriarty's men on the train to Brighton, Holmes saves them and the chase across Europe for Moriarty and his men is underway.

        Once again this film is an action film set in the late 19th century, plenty of guns, punches, grapples, explosions and a hectic pace as the two heroes charge across Europe. A long way away from the start of most Holmes novels where there is usually a step on the stair before the problem is laid in front of Holmes and he goes and gives the clues a good mulling over usually smoking a pipe. Indeed sometimes the complexity of the problem would be stated by the number of pipes he would need to smoke before getting to the truth. So we have to accept that this is a Guy Ritchie all action film using a trio of famous literary characters, there are elements of Holmes novels not least setting the ending at the Falls and the appearance of Irene Adler at the start of the film.

        There are moments of high drama, particularly the chess game between Holmes and Moriarty which is at the end of the film during when the fate of Europe is hanging by a thread, the appearance of Sherlock's brother Mycroft played by the brilliant Stephen Fry though we do see him naked for far too long in one of the scenes. I'd say forget the books and enjoy the film because the two are only very tenuously linked, the film is a triumph for Robert Downey as Holmes and he pours his own neurosis and energy into the role but none of Holmes' snobbery, crustiness or sheer effrontery come through (oh how this viewer missed the brilliant Jeremy Brett in his eponymous ITV series made in the 1980's) but he's good, Jude Law is a decent military Doctor and Professor Moriarty delightfully evil in a cerebral manner, he also looks a lot like the 80's singer Richard Stilgoe with pointed beard and clever word play. The screenplay is better than the original and the storyline makes some kind of sense and of course echoes re-life events some 20 years or so later. The story does jump a little and the nvolvement of a gypsy girl does seem little more than a chance to introduce a pretty girl and a bit of a more comic angle of the film.

        So enjoyable and watcheable and pretty sure there will be another Holmes film in the near future.


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        22.05.2012 23:42
        Very helpful



        An amazingly brilliant film, a must see for all!

        Sherlock Holmes has always been known as one of the most brilliant and mysterious men of all time, although fictional and a creation of the great Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Holmes never fails to instice you into joining him on his quests.

        Robert Downey Jr is one such man who doesn't fail in his portrayal of the great detective, with his crazy acting abilties and intense aura, he is the perfect man for the job, and it was a pleasure to see that he had returned for a second round.
        Robert Downey Jr is a hilarious and insane Sherlock, with his twist of 'thinking before fighting' and his way with women, such as Adler, who in this second film seems to meet her end, but has she truly we don't know.

        The great thing about 'Game Of Shadows' is that it again pushes the boundaries of the way you think and the way you see others, with the strange twists and trickery, it is a brilliant and fantastic mental game.
        Guy Ritchie excels in the directing of this film and shows that he is the perfect man for bringing to life one of Doyles greatest creations.

        Jude Law as Watson is the perfect accomplice for Robert Downey Jr and Sherlock, with his stiff manner and gentlemanly ways, he is the complete opposite of Holmes, yet in way he is so similar.
        Jude Law plays Watson with perfect precision and justification, and supports Robert Downey Jr especially well, helping to ground Holmes and bring him back to life(literally) when need be.
        While Holmes and Watson may seem to have a rude and rocky relationship, we can all tell that their bound is strong and they care for eachother more than they may wish to let on.

        In Game Of Shadows we see the actual Professor James Moriarty, and he doesn't disappoint, the enemy of Holmes he may be, but his brilliance must be rewarded, and in a way, I believe that he and Sherlock may be more alike and of similar brilliance then they wish to let on. Jared Harris who plays Moriarty portrays the character amazingly and never fails to get across the evilness and slyness of the professor.

        -Brilliant storyline
        -Amazing acting, with actors who portray their roles perfectly.
        -Hilariously funny and witty.
        -A great sequel which just makes you wish for more and more.
        -Great effects and fighting scenes.

        -Not as funny as the the prequel
        -Fighting scenes have changed some what so the brilliance of Holmes is dulled.
        -At some points, the idea that may wish to be seen, is unclear.


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        06.01.2012 15:07
        Very helpful
        1 Comment



        A safe sequel

        Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows is the sequel to Guy Ritchie's earlier attempt at reinventing the famous detective. The original Sherlock Holmes was adequate, but not earth-shattering and was mainly notable for the excellent casting of the always watchable Robert Downey Jnr. as Holmes. This sequel follows pretty much the same blueprint as the first film, providing an over-the-top romp with plenty of action and humour and a fun take on the central Holmes-Watson partnership.

        A Game of Shadows takes place more or less where the earlier film left off, with Holmes pursuing his arch-enemy Professor James Moriarty. The plot is pretty much incidental (and fairly uninspiring), but an adequate background against which to set the squabbling Holmes and Watson and a fair number of acceptable set-pieces. Essentially, in order to prevent death and mayhem on a global scale, Holmes and Watson must uncover what Moriarty is up to and then stop him.

        Sherlock Holmes 2 contains the same strong mix of action and humour that made the original successful. It might not have been the greatest film ever, but it was a fun diversion. In the way of sequels everywhere, Game of Shadows takes the same basic formula and ups the ante, paying more attention to the elements which made the first work. So, there are a number of spectacular set-pieces, plenty of fight sequences and even more bickering and banter between the old-married couple central pairing of Holmes & Watson.

        Arguably, it was this banter, this reinterpretation of two well-known characters that saved the first film. Without that, it would have been fairly hum-drum, run of the mill stuff. Recognising this, the writers have increased the number and length of such scenes, making Game of Shadows fun to watch. Holmes' pitiful attempt at arranging Watson's stag night, for example, leads to much exasperated bickering between the pair. The classic "mis-matched buddies" card is played for all it's worth and the film just about gets away with it.

        This is entirely due to the central casting of Robert Downey Jnr. as Holmes and (to a lesser extent) Jude Law as Watson. Downey Jnr. is always excellent value for money and slots perfectly into the role. He perfectly captures the charming, yet superior attitude of the super sleuth, giving fans of the book a glimmer of Conan Doyle's original creation, whilst giving the character enough of a new spin so that his Holmes is not merely a pale imitation of those who have gone before him. Downey Jnr. captures the restless, manic nature of Holmes well; whilst there are few actors who could take such an apparently arrogant and supercilious character and make him deeply likeable.

        Jude Law is one of those actors that I'm not normally a fan of, as he always comes across as rather bland and dull. This is still true of his Watson, but he gets away with it as it works well within the context of the film; Watson's staid and reliable attitude is an essential foil to Holmes' posturing and pontificating.

        It's the relationship between the pair that gives the film what spark it has and it's noticeable that when they are off-screen (or when plot developments split them up), the pace slows dramatically. This Holmes and Watson might offend purists, but they work perfectly within the context of this film and are the main source of the film's better moments.

        An inspired piece of casting is Stephen Fry as Holmes' even more brilliant brother, Mycroft. I thought at the time it was announced that this was perfect casting and so it proves. OK, it might just be an extension of his TV persona, but his intellectual rivalry with his brother and some of his withering put-downs are priceless, delivered with a comic timing honed by years of practice. Fry might only have a relatively small part to play in Game of Shadows, but he makes the most of his cameo, stealing every scene he is in (even those shared with Downey Jnr.)

        It's a shame, then, that Jared Harris' Professor Moriarty is not as good a foil for Downey Jnr's Holmes. Although he manages to convince as the suave, sophisticated nemesis, an intellectual equal for Holes, he never really injects any sense of menace. For all his elaborate plotting, you are never in any doubt that Holmes will win. Harris needed to bring a little more threat, a little more gravitas to the role to be a worthy opponent. As it is, he gets a little lost amongst the set-pieces and (fantasy) recreations of Victorian London.

        As with anything that Guy Ritchie does, there are a couple of problems. With a running time of 129 minutes 20-30 minutes could easily have been hacked off with too much damage. There are times when the pace of Game of Shadows drops alarmingly and whilst the film as a whole kept me mildly entertained, there were nevertheless all-too-frequent sections that had me looking at my watch, wondering how much longer was left. Sherlock Holmes stands and falls on the chemistry of Robert Downey Jnr. and Jude Law and when the action shifts away from them, the slight plot is not able to support the film.

        The second issue is that after goodness knows how many films, Guy Ritchie is still in love with his Bumper Book of Director's Camera Tricks. In the first film, his technique of showing some sequences twice (once in slow motion showing how Holmes works everything out in advance, then in "real time" to demonstrate how quickly he reacts) was novel and helped to demonstrate Holmes' intelligence in a very visual way. The same technique is massively overused In Game of Shadows to the point that it becomes tedious.

        It's also fair to say that this is not a film for Holmes purists who love the original works of Arthur Conan Doyle. Bar a few lines of dialogue and part of the ending, Game of Shadows has virtually nothing in common with any of the original short stories or novels. On the plus side, it at least retains its period setting, unlike the inexplicably popular BBC adaptation.

        At the end of the day, A Game of Shadows is a pretty safe franchise film. It shares the same strengths (Robert Downey Jnr., the Holmes-Watson dynamic) and the same weaknesses (overlong, intrusive directorial techniques, slim plot). Just like the first film, it's acceptable three star entertainment, but nothing more.

        Basic Information
        Sherlock Holmes: Game of Shadows
        Director: Guy Ritchie
        Running time: approx. 129 minutes
        Certificate: 12A

        (c) Copyright SWSt 2012


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          05.01.2012 13:37
          Very helpful



          Only for hardcore fans, really


          One of the great things about Christmas is getting to see people you don't see for ages, and as my best friend from school was up from London for the holidays with her boyfriend, we went on a double date to the cinema. The new releases were a bit thin on the ground, and no-one else was particularly interested in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, so Sherlock Holmes it was. I watched the first film at the cinema when it came out and whilst I found it watchable, I had pretty much forgotten that I'd seen it and it certainly never occurred to me to rent or buy it on DVD.

          Obviously as I saw it at the cinema, and the DVD isn't out yet, this will be a film only review.
          After watching the film, I can say it's pretty much as I expected. It's designed as a spectacular big screen action caper, with laugh out loud moments and larger than life characters. It's also more or less completely forgettable!

          THE PLOT

          Well known duo Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson join forces once more, this time to bring down bad guy Professor Moriarty, who Holmes believes is connected to a series of murders and terrorist attacks across Europe. After having intercepted one bomb, Holmes follows clues which lead him and Watson to Paris, Germany and Switzerland, taking in deadly train chases, a stay in a gypsy camp, endless fist fights and a very tense chess game.


          This isn't short of big names, with the roles of Sherlock Holmes, Dr Watson and Irene Adler being reprised by Robert Downey Jr, Jude Law and Rachel McAdams respectively. I'm something of a Rachel McAdams fan so I was disappointed that she only made a fairly small appearance, and there isn't much to especially say about it, except for the fact that the script dealt with her quite clumsily, I thought.

          Robert Downey Jr resumes his smart-aleck, half-stoned interpretation of Sherlock Holmes, which to be honest is probably not that far from Arthur Conan Doyle's original character. It's a pretty quirky performance, and for me (as in the first film) it was a little bit too close to Johnny Depp's Captain Jack Sparrow to be really original and funny. He has some very witty lines, though, and there were a lot of laughs in the cinema.

          Dr Watson is sort of the straight man to Holmes in the original books, and he comes across a bit stiff and boring. Law makes him a lot more likeable. For some reason a lot of people seem to hate Jude Law and find him really irritating, but I don't feel that strongly about him personally! He delivers a decent performance, although he has much better chemistry with RDJ than he does with Kelly Reilly, who plays his wife. Mary Watson is smart, sassy and fun, which is perfect.

          Two newcomers to this second film were Stephen Fry and Noomi Rapace. Stephen Fry was essentially just as he is in real life, to be honest, and I don't find him especially entertaining at the best of times. He was okay but didn't especially stretch himself and wasn't anything to shout about. Also, I really didn't need to see him naked! Eek!

          Noomi Rapace was simply excellent, and unfortunately was tragically underused. She was captivating! Her character was Sim, a gypsy trying desperately to hunt down her missing brother, and unwittingly getting caught up in Moriarty's machinations. However, Sim can certainly hold her own in a fight and she had no problems keeping up with Holmes and Watson. The costume department had a lot of fun with her, and she wore some incredible hats! It's such a shame that she wasn't involved more; she didn't have any kind of romantic storyline, and it almost seemed like the writers didn't know how to deal with a female character who didn't have anyone to fall in love with. This is meant to be a family film really and I would really have like to see more of an effort to present a credible female role model. Instead she was thrust aside to make space for more of the 'bromance' banter between Holmes and Watson that we'd already seen tons of in the previous instalment.


          It was obvious that they must have used tons of special effects in the film what with the shots of old London, the explosions and the treacherous chase and fight scenes, but I didn't see anything that looked obviously fake unless it was meant to. Guy Ritchie repeated the technique used in the first film of playing a fight in slow motion while Holmes plans what will happen and what he will do, and then playing it again when it actually happens. This was fun the first time round and it could have felt tired this time, but a few twists were put on the technique which did refresh it a little - let's just say all the fights didn't turn out in the way Holmes imagined they would!


          The music fit quite nicely with the film. It's an original score by the talented Hans Zimmer, which merges the old-fashioned setting with the more modern characters really successfully. I wouldn't say it especially added a lot, and I wouldn't buy the soundtrack, personally, although it's possible.


          I don't especially notice bad language but after racking my brains I don't think there was anything much worse than a 'damn' or a 'bloody' in there. However there is quite a bit of violence. Nothing too bloody or gory, but a lot of people get shot, and there are tons of fist fights where you see limbs bent at odd angles or hear bones crunching.


          On the positive side, I thought most of the performances in this film were impressive, and there was great chemistry between the two male leads. The story was decent and it took you through a variety of visually impressive places, including palaces, opera houses, hotels, European countryside and the snowy Alps. The cinematography and direction were okay, if nothing especially to write home about. There were plenty of laugh out loud moments, and it was wise to really focus on the relationship between Watson and Holmes, which is really interesting and gave some comic relief from all the shouting and explosions and running and fighting and shooting. The costumes all looked brilliant, although for all I know they could be wildly inaccurate as I'm not really up with that sort of thing!

          Unfortunately, I think there are just as many negatives. Whilst it was good that a lot happened and the plot took you to a lot of different places, the film was just too long. It runs at 2 hours 9 minutes, and I honestly felt every single second of it. I know 129 minutes doesn't make it the longest film in the world, but there really wasn't enough entertainment in there for that long. Had half an hour been shaved off, and maybe one or two of the locations cut or trimmed down, I would definitely have come out of the cinema having enjoyed myself a lot more. You can get too much of a mediocre thing, you know! I didn't especially care about any of the characters, so I wasn't particularly gripped to the screen, and I did find my attention wandering during some scenes if there was nothing especially engaging or funny happening. The whole storyline was eminently forgettable, and you don't take anything away with you apart from a numb bum and the sense of having been on a vicarious romp of an adventure. I really do feel that the character of Sim could have been much more interesting, and could have been used a lot more to add something fresh to the mix. Irene Adler's presence was completely pointless.

          I think that leaves pros and cons pretty much even. This is essentially your typical Hollywood blockbuster action movie, but toned down slightly for a family audience. For some reason it will get a lot less flack and abuse than any of the chick flicks that will be released this year, despite the fact that it's almost entirely style over substance. I would normally say get it on DVD, but one of its main draws is that it's so visually impressive, and I'm not sure how well that will translate to the small screen. So, I'd say see it at the cinema but only if you're a fan or you're exceptionally bored and you've seen everything else. Three stars for being mildly entertaining, but too long.


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            23.12.2011 10:51
            Very helpful



            I expect more from the third movie!

            Just went to see Sherlock Holmes 2 at the cinema and wow...

            ~~~THOUGHTS ON PLOT~~~
            After a rather truncated opening scene with Holmes (Robert Downey Jr) and Adler (Rachel McAdams) being their usual playful way, much to my delight, as it links the first film to this superbly, it ends in her rather abrupt death by poisoning which I was distraught by.

            With the early departure of McAdams from the film, I hated Moriarty (Jared Harris) even more, though I had no idea what he was up to...

            So it is the eve of Watson (Jude Law)'s singlehood and Holmes takes him out on a 'stag do' whilst continuing his investigation which leads him to gypsy girl Simza (Noomi Rapace) who is supposedly key to Moriarty's plan.

            We still have no idea what his plan is, just that he's evil and clever.

            After a while later, Holmes and Watson travel to Paris to find Simza, then the three go to Germany and then to Switzerland in hope of stopping and revealing Moriarty's evil plan.

            It sounds like my plot summary is a bit of a mess but that is just what I was thinking watching it- stuck. lost. I didn't have much clue on what they were doing, just that they were doing it and followed it.

            In between, there was a very humourous train scene full of action too which to me was perhaps the highlight of the film in terms of entertainment.

            I also really loved the way Guy Richie upped the cinematography from the previous film: the forest scene was spectacular and the consistency in style that this movie is shot is to be praised. I'm also very glad that this film was not released in 3D it wasn't necessary and it was still breathtaking visually- hope the 3D hype dies down and we return to good cinema!

            Whilst the film did drag on before things started to become clear, once it got towards the end, it was made known what Moriarty was up to and the reveal at the end was as expected, very satisfying. It's just a shame it took a while to get there and was a bit obscure to begin with.

            I also loved the ending in which it bookended the film nicely, ended with a lighthearted and humourous scene and with a very clever and quirky few seconds which beckons us to question if a third movie will be made. I'll say YES to that!

            Robert Downey Jr- Sherlock Holmes
            Jude Law- John Watson
            Noomi Rapace- Simza
            Rachel McAdams- Irene Adler
            Jared Harris- Moriarty

            Also stars Stephen Fry (unfortunately unclothed for one scene- gross) and Kelly Reilly

            Robert Downey Jr does a great job resuming his role as Holmes; the humour is great and he definitely has more to deal with this time around in terms of acting and he stepped up to it. Noomi Rapace played the gypsy girl well but I didn't feel her role was that integral and she could've been a stronger character.

            I am again sad to accept that Rachel McAdams' character Irene Adler is dead- I would never have thought they'd just kill her off like that. I knew she wouldn't be in this film much but 5 mins and never again? D: They better find a good female lead for the next one or somehow revive Irene. SERIOUSLY. In the short few minutes that she was in, she did look absolutely PERFECT. :3

            I also liked that Moriarty had a brain that matched Sherlock's in a sense in that final fight scene where they're both mentally outwitting the other- that was VERY interesting.

            Sherlock Holmes 2 managed to raise the bar in terms of cinematography, style and even action, but the plot was a bit fuzzy for most of the film and lacked the symbolic mystery the first one had that kept us at the edge of our seats.

            Nonetheless, this was a solid movie with great action sequences, super cast (McAdams will be dearly missed) and a great ending.

            Whilst it does hint at a third film, nothing led on from this that would've suggested what it might be about, which is a shame as the last one did so well at keeping the suspense and the identity of Moriarty and his scheme.


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