Posted by Mark Bridge On December - 22 - 2011 0 Comment

I really enjoy going to the movies.  there is something magnificent about sitting in a darkened theater watching a story unfold before your eyes.  The best experiences obviously are the ones where the movie you are watching meets or exceeds all your expectation.  The first Sherlock Holmes surprised me in how much I enjoyed it.  It wasn’t simply an attempt by Hollywood to create a big budget action extravaganza out of a character from classic literature.  The dialogue was superb and the action never got in the way of the story.  Now we are back for the Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows and director Guy Ritchie avoids the trapping of bigger is better and yet again gives us a rich story which is supported by amazing action set pieces.

Robert Downey Jr. returns as Sherlock Holmes and gets involve in a game of cat and mouse with Professor James Moriarty (Jared Harris)  who at the end of the first film was revealed to be the shadowy figure behind Lord Blackwell’s doomsday device.  I will not say too much of the plot for fear of giving away Moriarty’s ultimate goal.  Holmes and Moriarty are equally matched in intellect and brawn.  It was quite exhilarating to watch these two distinguished gentlemen try to out do each other.

Joining Holmes on his quest is Dr. Watson once again being played by Jude Law.  Watson is about to marry his girlfriend Mary (Kelly Reilly) from the first film and Holmes is none to happy about that.  The chemistry these two had in the first film is still intact.  The way their conversations with each other flow is like watching a game of tennis.  They are hitting words at each other back an forth.

 

A new addition to the series is Mycroft (Stephen Fry), Sherlock’s brother.  There is a scene involving him, Mary and a butler who has seen too many winters, and I dare you not to die laughing at that scene.  Another addition to the fold is Simza played by the wonderful Noomi Rapace.  Although you would expect her addition to represent Holmes’ next love interest, sadly that is not the case.  But you can also look at it as a positive in that they weren’t being predictable.

In my Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol review, I proclaimed that as the best I’ve seen in 2011.  I was a bit worried while watching this film that I may have jumped the gun.  Even though these two films are different in their setting, they both share the same sense of adventure and great character interactions.  I still give the edge to Mission Impossible because of  its glorious set pieces, but this film came pretty damn close in beating.

Rating: ★★★★★

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