Sherlock Holmes: Don't Play Chess…Ever!

Written by Noah Wunsch on . Posted in Film.


 

Thanksgiving has come and gone, andHollywood has gotten most of its Oscar contenders out of it’s system. We’ve already gotten another Twilight, and Harry Potter got married and had kids, so what kind of a superfluous blockbuster sequel can we jam in before fall ends? Hey, didn’t that Sherlock Holmes flick make a bunch of money?

The super sleuth returns this Friday in, Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows. All his old friends came to the party, and (because it’s a sequel) a few new ones decided to boogie on through. Let’s bring out the new sexy cast, and get to know them a little bit! If you like gypsies, then you’ll absolutely loveMadame Simza Heron, played by Noomi Rapace of The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo fame. This little vixen will read your fortune and steal your heart. Next up we’ve got Holmes’ foppish older brother, Mycroft Holmes, played by foppish actor Stephen Fry. How many times do we get to laugh at his big naked gut? Watch the movie and find out. Last, but surely not least, we’ve got the “bad guy,” of the movie, Professor James Moriarty. C’mon out Professor! Awww, he’s a little shy about his eye twitch, which might not have been a character trait so much as an acting flaw… But who’s counting right? And there ya have it! The new cast of Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows.

 

 

The movie begins with a bang, literally, as a building explodes within the first few seconds. It seems some unknown villain is planting bombs around the continent, slowly inciting political rage around Europe. Who could it be? I bet Sherlock Holmes knows. He does! And he spends the whole movie, essentially trying to prove that he is smarter than his evil counterpart; a feat that manifests itself in a clichéd game of chess. Holmes and Watson travel from place-to-place, trying to get a step ahead of Professor Moriarty, and always falling short.

 

Director Guy Ritchie’s stylized shooting helps keep the pace of the film, but the problem with starting a movie with an explosion is that the audience must have that adrenaline spike for the rest of the film. If it ever stagnates, the audience will be lost. And for a 2-hour movie, that’s a helluva lotta adrenaline to serve! The main problem with the story is how Holmes’ eccentricities from the first film are blown up and exaggerated. Yes, he can stop the world for a second and play out a fight in his head. Yes, he likes dressing up in costumes. Yes, he always seems to be a step ahead of everyone around him. But there isn’t the same intelligence that comes with it; instead Holmes is played more as the all knowing fool. And when everything does come together, an act that happens over and over again, the audience has the reasoning explained to them after the fact. It’s as though the screenwriters thought, “What’re five random objects we can throw together, that only Holmes can see, which we can then tie together so everyone, y’know, gets it.”

 

Though, for all of it’s downfalls, it must be said that “Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows,” is a very entertaining movie. What keeps it from mediocrity is the last ten minutes. An ending that is by turns dark and miserable, and tantalizing and enjoyable. I don’t want to give anything away except to say: he does this, then does that and then everyone goes, “Oh.” So enjoy!

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