Movie Review: “Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows”

29Dec11

Christmas day leaves very few things open. So, like any good Jew, I went to a movie and had Chinese food. My movie of choice: Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows (imdb.com). Since its opening on December 16th, I’ve heard a lot of mixed reviews of the 2009 Sherlock Holmes sequel. So, I decided I needed to see it for myself.

Let me start by saying this: Anyone who didn’t enjoy this movie needs to get their head checked.

I’m not saying it should be up for movie of the year. But it’s one of those movies where it’s easy to get lost in what’s happening. And that’s what a movie is supposed to do.

Why is it able to get you lost? That’s an easy answer. It’s got a little bit of everything for everyone. Director Guy Ritchie (imdb.com) has this uncanny ability to mix genres and techniques to create what I’ve come to call the “Guy Ritchie Style.” Action, comedy, suspense, gore; throw in awesome special and visual effects and a superb amount of production value then add that special Guy Ritchie gritty direction, and you have Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows.

I absolutely love the visual style of the movie. Sarah Greenwood (imdb.com), who also did the production design for the first Sherlock Holmes, seems right at home working with turn-of-the-century style. That, and the way that DP Philippe Rousselot (imdb.com) and editor James Herbert (imdb.com) use effects and slow motion to create a sense of premonition makes Sherlock simply stunning to watch.

While it is visually beautiful, visuals aren’t the entire movie. I found the story somewhat lacking. In fact, I found the style very familiar. Anyone ever seen The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (imdb.com)? Virtually the same story, and that left me feeling a little wanting. Though, that doesn’t make the script itself bad. The dialogue was rather witty. The acting was top-notch. Robert Downy Jr. is made to play jerk characters.

Overall, I really enjoyed Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows. It’s a good way to lose yourself in a movie. Just don’t expect to be watching the best movie ever, and you’ll have a good time watching it.

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