SHERLOCK HOLMES: A GAME OF SHADOWS
DECEMBER 16, 2011
Will the team be able to administer the same one, two punch as the first film? What catches our attention immediately is the length of the film at 128 minutes; exactly the same as the first. Perhaps this an intentional superstitious contrivance to not only duplicate the impact of the original film results, but keep them on a great path out of sequel hell.
When the audience concentrates on the story alone, there are small black holes that are filled with the already established time-lapse fight sequences. The balance keeps the movies from sequel purgatory, but is it enough to keep the audience spreading the word? Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law reprise their roles as Holmes and Watson, respectively. Clearly these two have great on-screen chemistry in conjunction with Michael Robert Johnson, Anthony Peckham and Simon Kenberg, as well as fast paced dialogue that they continue to dominate. This was the perfect week for this release as the competition for the top spot is limited. Date night movie? Probably not, but Downey and Law together could easily bring in date night dollars.
This sequel was very Americanized with the humor played out with a very blatant delivery. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was of Scottish descent, but wrote Sherlock in a very, very English rendition. The humor was layered deep, as Doyle never wrote down to his readers. He knew that those who read his books would turn their backs quickly if they felt the story was sub-par. He stayed on course with strong, adventurous crime solving along with detailed descriptions that led the reader to follow the path to the guilty party. His anecdotes were complete, leaving little room for an alternative ending. Sherlock illustrated step by step how he came to the conclusion in each case.
The tangles and twists laid out by the screenwriters are lukewarm at best, as they chose to concentrate on presenting the audience with small remedies of how Holmes would escape these inescapable binds he found himself in. This could not be further from anything Doyle would have ever written. Those involved in the writing and directing chose to present dialogue related directly to the story in a less than complete fashion while relying fully on the visual aspect of the film.
The movie has entertaining value with the cast and visual cinematography dramatically overshadowing the story. Those who flock to see the best new release this week of December 16, 2011 will walk away with a feeling of delight.