(In between talking about Christmas music and movies, I just had to throw in my two cents on the latest Sherlock Holmes movie.)
I can’t lie. A Game of Shadows has probably been my most-anticipated movie of 2011. So, after finally getting to see it, did it meet my expectations?
Well, in a word, yes.
A Game of Shadows delivers more of what we loved about the original film, and on a larger scale. Holmes and Watson’s bromance has been amplified to hilarious heights; the slow motion action sequences are here in spades; the villain is umpteen times more sinister than Lord Blackwood.
And here, it seems, more is good. The stakes are considerably higher in Holmes’ latest caper, proving that— when done with wit and care—bigger is better.
While the film has much in its favor, one of its biggest merits is Stephen Fry’s small role as Mycroft Holmes, Sherlock’s brother. I admit that because I love Mr. Fry, I am speaking as an extremely biased individual. But as Mycroft, Fry balances condescension and pretentiousness with well-meaning earnestness to delightful results.
Also, I’m a sucker for movie soundtracks, so I got a huge kick out of composer Hans Zimmer’s contribution to the film. As far as I’m concerned, the man’s a master at crafting scores that perfectly compliment the onscreen action. One scene in particular that left me with my mouth agape involved the incorporation of Mozart’s Don Giovanni, but I’ll say no more about that here.
The biggest complaint I have with the film is that Rachel McAdams’ Irene Adler— the perfect antithesis to Downey’s Holmes— plays only a small role here. I would have enjoyed more onscreen sparring (both verbal and physical) between the two of them.
All in all, however, A Game of Shadows is a highly enjoyable flick that lives up to the precedent set by the first installment of director Guy Ritchie’s Sherlock franchise.