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Home » Film

Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows

Submitted by MBergeron on December 15, 2011 – 2:02 pmOne Comment
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For Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows director Guy Richie has adapted his style of kinetic filmmaking with the latest action chops while at the same time finding a link with the quirkiness of Conan Doyle’s writings. While this second film pairing Robert Downey, Jr. as the titular fin de siecle detective, and Jude Law as his just back from Afghanistan war sidekick Dr. Watson ends in a sort of cliffhanger it’s one directly from Doyle’s pen. For A Game of Shadows Holmes always looks scruffy, unshaven and like he just got the shit kicked out of him. Likewise the film revels in dark color schemes. One sequence set in a forest has a series of slo-mo tree explosions that explore the relationship between effects, motion and color; like Richie was riffing on that extreme slo-mo fight scene from Snatch.

In the Sherlock Holmes books and stories Doyle would trick his readers with random paragraphs describing a stranger who turns out to be, with a surprise revelation mid-sentence, Holmes in disguise. Richie has found a visual corollary to this technique. Jared Harris plays Holmes’ arch nemesis Professor Moriarity, while Stephen Fry appears as Mycroft Holmes. Both of these characters are an excellent fit for the franchise (no matter where it might go in subsequent editions).

The film itself wallows in occasional excesses of CGI but never in an egregious manner. Set pieces can astound like a mountain castle that recalls Bond’s Piz Gloria (On Her Majesty’s Secret Service), a visual motif also found in Inception. Maybe it’s just indicative of Warner Brothers films in general, everything from Sucker Punch to Holmes cries out with steampunk leanings. There was even a subliminal glimpse of Holmes in WB’s New Year’s Eve where we see a Times Square billboard for Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows.

Also note how both of this week’s blockbusters (Holmes and M:I Ghost Protocol) cast actors from the original Swedish The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo. Noomi Rapace plays a mysterious woman that aids Holmes and Watson as they attempt to unravel an international espionage plot. Likewise Michael Nyqvist plays the villain in M:I 4. Whatever Mission: Impossible’s motive or budget it doesn’t hold a candle to Holmes.

- Michael Bergeron

One Comment »

  • Menelom says:

    Yes … the design is clearly needed to be changed :)
    What would be brighter , nebudu (

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