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RE: Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows - 19/12/2011 8:44:04 PM   
Dr Lenera

 

Posts: 3933
Joined: 19/10/2005
 Sherlock Holmes encounters again Irene Adler, a female mistress of crime who he has a love/hate relationship with, and dispatches four men following them.  A series of unrelated crimes is taking place all over Europe, and Sherlock Holmes believes them all to be the work of a certain Professor Moriarty, a criminal mastermind just as smart as Holmes.  Holmes foils Moriarty’s latest assassination attempt, and the Professor retaliates by poisoning Irene, whose feelings for Holmes have compromised her usefulness.   Meanwhile it is Dr Watson’s stag do, and Holmes takes him out with his brother Mycroft, where it transpires that he hasn’t invited any of Watson’s friends.  Holmes is actually there to foil another murder attempt by Moriarty, and thereby causes Watson, who has supposedly given up sleuthing, and his wife Mary to be in considerable danger…… 


Two years ago, Sherlock Holmes was one of the most pleasant surprises of the year.  The combination of an apparent  ‘re-imagining’ of the World’s Greatest Detective as a Victorian action hero, and a director whose only good films were his first two, didn’t seem promising and actually seemed something that would be something near to an abomination to this Holmes fan.  Well, it was very decent entertainment, and certainly didn’t insult Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, though many ‘purists’ disagreed.  To me it was still very ‘Holmesian’, and anyway, not all interpretations of source material have to be the same, especially the adventures of a character like Holmes, which have been a staple of cinema and TV entertainment almost since cinema and TV began.  As long as the essence is there, I don’t think it matters too much, and the essence of the orginal Holmes was certainly in it in my opinion. I couldn’t wait for a sequel, and now here it is.  It’s basically the same thing, but bigger and better, resulting in one of the most sheerly entertaining popcorn movies of the year.   The chief instruction seems to have been, “have MORE of everything”.  Therefore you have more fighting where Holmes displays his martial arts expertise, more banter between Holmes and Watson, more explosions, you get the picture.  And, for the most part, it works wonderfully.

Getting into the action straight away, this episode opens with a brawl that is sadly shot in the way most fight scenes are shot these days i.e. you can’t see what the hell is going on due to the way it is filmed.  Not promising at all, but never mind, the film hurtles headlong into its story, rarely stopping for breath, and delivering twice the action of the first movie.  A lengthy sequence that climaxes with a flight in a wood where Holmes, Watson and their companions are being bombarded by military artillery is fantastic stuff, the best kind of movie action; it’s ridiculous, it’s unrealistic but it gives you that giddy lift and you just don’t want it to end.  This and some other scenes employ some slow motion, which seems to have irritated many, but I loved it, partly because I could see certain things very clearly, which is the opposite of the norm at the moment.  Guy Ritchie is no Sam Peckinpah or John Woo, so the slow motion perhaps seems shoehorned in at times, but it certainly doesn’t lessen the excitement.

As before, Ritchie likes to visualise Holmes thinking about something before he does it, but takes it much further in this movie.  In one quite audacious and fantastic set piece on a train, the director, for a minute or so, appears to employ virtually every cinematic technique in showing how Holmes has worked out what is going on and how to stop it.  Ritchie has rarely been an innovative filmmaker, often being happiest borrowing things from others, but he did make the disastrous Revolver, an utter mess if ever there was one.  Thinking about that particular movie now as I write, and relating to Sherlock Holmes: A Game Of Shadows, it seems more than anything else to have a really brave, daring effort that just didn’t work, and that some of that experimentation which Ritchie clearly has inside him has found its way into his latest film, in which it works much better.  You actually do get a better idea of how Holmes’ mind works.  Ritchie also paces his film perfectly and manages the sprawling, globetrotting plot very skilfully, never letting it slow down.  Some have said that the characters of Mycroft, Holmes’ brother, and the gypsy woman Simza Heron are unnecessary in the film.  I disagree; Mycroft plays pretty much the same role as he does in the original stories, while in Simza it’s nice to have a female participant in the adventure undertaken by our heroes who doesn’t become a love interest for one of them.

Sadly the script in some ways lets things down somewhat.  While the comic banter between the two leads is as fun as ever, sometimes very sharp indeed, and brave enough to hint about the supposed homosexual elements which some see in their relationship, the plot is rather badly constructed.  There is not enough of Holmes picking up on various clues as he sees them; instead, we have too many scenes of Holmes telling of clues he picked on earlier, via flashback shots, and some of these clues are hardly seen in the earlier scenes, so it results in a kind of cheating.  A good example is Holmes mentioning two identical dwarves, yet the scene they were in earlier hardly had them barely seen and hardly registering as identical dwarves.  The climactic showdown, which is one of the few elements in the film directly influenced by Conan Doyle, is also something of a damp squib, but then I suppose the real climax is before, a truly clever and brilliant scene where Holmes plays a symbolic chess game with Moriarty while Watson does the puzzle solving and tries to stop a dreadful crime happening, in a sense having Holmes in two places at once.  The sequence is incredibly suspenseful and works superbly.

Downey Jnr is again terrific; notice the way he is always glancing around, eyes picking up everything, wherever he goes, and Jude Law is again very good; you know that Watson loves his adventures with Holmes, however much it disrupts his personal life!  I can’t quite understand why Law has decided to start acting in these films; normally I consider him one of the worst performers around.  Jared Harris is the best Moriarty after George Zucco; quite restrained in his egomania and megalomania, but letting you know it’s there.  Many of the movie’s best bits just have Holmes and Moriarty matching wits with each other; they cackle with understated tension and a certain kind of humour.  Stephen Fry just plays Stephen Fry but it’s a revelation to see original Dragon Tattoo Girl Noomi Rapace without all that makeup; she’s quite lovely on the eye!  Hans Zimmer’s score, which at one point directly copies Ennio Morricone’s theme from Two Mules For Sister Sara, makes much less use of the catchy cimbalom theme of the first movie and sadly resorts at times to the usual Pirates Of The  Caribbean copying, though he handles a sequence towards the end very well, with an orchestral waltz becoming more discordant and synth-heavy as things get more and more tense.  Mostly this is a thoroughly entertaining, clever and satisfying ride whose sheer drive will probably ensure that its narrative problems are not too problematic.  Purists be damned, I want more of these!!!
Rating: 8/10


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(in reply to musht)
Post #: 31
Jude Law's best film(s) - 20/12/2011 9:19:24 AM   
lelandmeeks


Posts: 30
Joined: 16/6/2011
Jude Law has been blessed with this role of Dr Watson. The look is great, the character is funny. It's all about the banter. Ignore everything else and you'll love it.

(in reply to Empire Admin)
Post #: 32
Not Elementary, My Dear Watson....... - 20/12/2011 7:05:03 PM   
n13roy

 

Posts: 83
Joined: 5/10/2005
Just came back from seeing this Film, and I thought I was going to see a MUCH better Film, especially after reading all the reviews on here. I found it to be quite boring,very silly at times, long winded, not THAT funny, and overall a real disappointment all round. The ending was quite clever though, but after over 2 hours of watching thia one, it couldn't have come quick enough for me....

(in reply to Empire Admin)
Post #: 33
RE: Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows - 21/12/2011 7:40:08 PM   
matthias_sk64

 

Posts: 2
Joined: 19/1/2008
I dunno... it's fun, visually exciting, the Watson-Holmes dynamic is still the selling point but... it's just not a very well made film! The plot trips al over the place, which is fine I suppose (or it would be if it wasn't, you know, based on a series of detective mysteries whose whole selling point is the unravelling of a well crafted puzzle)but now it's too ambitious, it thinks it's clever than it actually is. A flash back in the midst of a flo-mo saturated action piece to explain how Sherlock predicted what would happen so snuck into the cabin and switched the bullets blah blah blah is just too convoluted and too damn silly. Stephen Fry walks into the room naked. Whhhhy does Stephen Fry walk into the room naked? Is it due to his complete lack of social competence? I think we're supposed to think that but it's never really established; in fact Stephen Fry's character is never really established at all, he's just there... Both the action and the comedy set-pieces (not the banter, i like the banter) stink of a room full of people saying 'hey you know what would be funny/cool? If we did this!' 'but why would we do that? 'because it would be funny/cool!'

I'm not a Sherlock purist, in fact I like the modernised, humorous version but now the duo are jet-setting (train-setting?) across Europe, getting fired at by heavy artillery and now It no longer feels like a detective story at all but a historical James Bond, we even have seemingly innocuous gadgets that become predictably useful in moments of dire need and a Bond girl that does nothing but tag along and look pretty.

The final showdown is original but a bit too messy to work properly, I like the way the climax played with the original books, I didn't like the way the post climax DIDN'T play with the Hollywood formula.

It was ok. Resoundingly ok.

(in reply to musht)
Post #: 34
RE: Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows - 22/12/2011 7:06:12 AM   
Harry John

 

Posts: 4
Joined: 3/12/2011
Even better than the first one! Goodness, I LOVE the Final Problem reference at the end! :D
quote:

Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows

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Post #: 35
RE: Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows - 22/12/2011 10:48:24 PM   
Vadersville


Posts: 3080
Joined: 30/9/2005
quote:

ORIGINAL: Harry John

Even better than the first one! Goodness, I LOVE the Final Problem reference at the end! :D


Absolutley! I just wish they had left it a little more ambiguous after that. Have Watson see the breathing apparatus then let him type the ? mark.



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Confusion is a way of life, not a state of mind

(in reply to Harry John)
Post #: 36
Four Stars Is Generous - 23/12/2011 5:48:55 PM   
TheMovieAddict101

 

Posts: 21
Joined: 7/8/2010
After reflecting on the film, I can only say that you people at EMPIRE were being a little generous in the festive spirit. A Game Of Shadows was a disappointment for many a reason; Noomi Rapace's wasted character, who didn't seem to have any emotion whatsoever, the obvious fact that Holmes didn't actually seem to be solving anything, and spent more of his time practising for an MMA fight. Where's the good-old cunning we're used to seeing when he solves a puzzle?

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Post #: 37
yeah, sure - 24/12/2011 11:44:41 PM   
andreipopa

 

Posts: 1
Joined: 16/12/2011
so this movie has more stars than ghost protocol. right...

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Post #: 38
4*? - 26/12/2011 11:35:18 PM   
satchwannad


Posts: 16
Joined: 6/2/2010
From: dublin
Hummm still digesting this film,but yes i was entertained,was it 4* hummm i say again?.

(in reply to Empire Admin)
Post #: 39
- 28/12/2011 9:33:43 PM   
TheoJ

 

Posts: 6
Joined: 27/3/2009
I am a little suprised by the number of people having a go at this film. It's clearly a clear successor to the first film with a great plot, fantastic characters and the action is mouth gapingly good.
Agree it isn't perfect as Sim was underused and lacked something. Plus the slow mo got old the third time. But i feel Empire is completly justified to give it 4 stars instead of sitting on the fence and giving it 3

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Post #: 40
RE: - 28/12/2011 10:59:24 PM   
SWOTBM


Posts: 1998
Joined: 6/5/2007
I really liked it.  Better than the original because the villain was a match for Holmes.  The chess scene at the end was very compelling viewing, top stuff.  Though it does become a problem when you have a character like Holmes/Batman/Superman, you can make the villains as despicable as you like (I'm thinking Moriarty and Heath's Joker) but you still have a sense that the film will go all ''Hollywood'' and hero will make it through relatively unscathed.  Minor gripes, but the slow-mo scenes but get tiresome (I'm thinking the chase through the woods) and the pre-planned fight scenes seemed a bit too extended for my liking.  Wonder what they'll do next?  Hound of the Baskervilles?  Holmes vs. Jack the Ripper?  Although the time scale is slightly out of synch for the latter. 


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Post #: 41
RE: Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows - 29/12/2011 9:50:15 AM   
Invader_Ace


Posts: 1584
Joined: 31/7/2008
quote:

ORIGINAL: Vadersville
quote:

ORIGINAL: Harry John
Even better than the first one! Goodness, I LOVE the Final Problem reference at the end! :D

Absolutley! I just wish they had left it a little more ambiguous after that. Have Watson ... type the ? mark.


Agreed.  It would have been better if they'd left it more open, instead of resetting the Status Quo.
Overall I enjoyed it, especially the chess and non-fight fight scene.  Occasionally it did feel a bit long, I'm torn between 3 and 4 stars, but going to go 3.

(in reply to Vadersville)
Post #: 42
Sherlock - 29/12/2011 7:44:51 PM   
HERMES_67

 

Posts: 92
Joined: 1/10/2005
Stonking film; without question 4 stars and so very nearly 5. Excellent film well worth watching....Enjoy.....

(in reply to Empire Admin)
Post #: 43
Better than the first? - 31/12/2011 2:30:09 PM   
trueborndjross

 

Posts: 93
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: Kirkcaldy
After the brilliant first film I wasn't sure that it could be topped but I think Ritchie might just have done it with this sequel. It's definitely as good as the first if not better. The Holmes and Watson banter is superb again and the pairing of Downey Jr and Law just works! The action sequences are fantastic as well and the film moves along at a fair old pace. The final showdown with Moriarty was a wee bit disappointing if I'm being picky but otherwise a class film.

(in reply to Empire Admin)
Post #: 44
A Game Of Shadows - 31/12/2011 6:28:41 PM   
deppfanatic

 

Posts: 103
Joined: 18/9/2009
From: Bicester
The game is afoot dear Sherlock fans in "A Game Of Shadows." Guy Ritchie joins forces with Robert Downey Jr. & Jude Law on yet, another mysterious adventure, Stephen Fry and Noomi Rapace are also in the hunt, Elementary.

The partnership between Watson & Holmes is so believable, in fact; Watson cant attend his own honeymoon, due to the antics that they both get up too.

Professor James Moriarty played by Jared Harris might be a powerful individual, with the same methods as Holmes;but shows a vulnerability. Especially where his wealth is concerned: this is evident with a coded book, which is kept on him at all times.

Guy Ritchie has proven he can create a film better than the first: with more action packed fun, comical qualities( as what you expect from Holmes & Watson), Use of slow motion during explosive, realistic scenes and bringing old fashioned London to life,

Quote:
Sherlock Holmes: Uh, hmm... Right. Where are the wagons?
Madam Simza Heron: The wagon is too slow. Can't you ride?
Dr. John Watson: It's not that he can't ride... How is it you put it, hon?
Sherlock Holmes: They're dangerous at both ends and... crafty in the middle. Why would I want anything with a mind of its own bobbing about between my legs?

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Post #: 45
A Game Of Shadows - 31/12/2011 6:28:44 PM   
deppfanatic

 

Posts: 103
Joined: 18/9/2009
From: Bicester
The game is afoot dear Sherlock fans in "A Game Of Shadows." Guy Ritchie joins forces with Robert Downey Jr. & Jude Law on yet, another mysterious adventure, Stephen Fry and Noomi Rapace are also in the hunt, Elementary.

The partnership between Watson & Holmes is so believable, in fact; Watson cant attend his own honeymoon, due to the antics that they both get up too.

Professor James Moriarty played by Jared Harris might be a powerful individual, with the same methods as Holmes;but shows a vulnerability. Especially where his wealth is concerned: this is evident with a coded book, which is kept on him at all times.

Guy Ritchie has proven he can create a film better than the first: with more action packed fun, comical qualities( as what you expect from Holmes & Watson), Use of slow motion during explosive, realistic scenes and bringing old fashioned London to life,

Quote:
Sherlock Holmes: Uh, hmm... Right. Where are the wagons?
Madam Simza Heron: The wagon is too slow. Can't you ride?
Dr. John Watson: It's not that he can't ride... How is it you put it, hon?
Sherlock Holmes: They're dangerous at both ends and... crafty in the middle. Why would I want anything with a mind of its own bobbing about between my legs?

(in reply to Empire Admin)
Post #: 46
wait's over - 1/1/2012 1:14:33 PM   
artilleryman


Posts: 100
Joined: 9/1/2008
to all those mental midgets who consider this to be even remotely resembling anything to do with Sherlock Holmes, the BBC's excellent Sherlock is back on tonight at 8.10pm showing us all how the stories can be done properly with a modern outlook. Tune in. You might learn something.

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Post #: 47
Is it just me... - 2/1/2012 4:22:37 PM   
MarkL1977

 

Posts: 15
Joined: 31/1/2008
From: Islington, London
...or did this film have exactly the same plot as The League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen film (Spolier: Moriarty as the villain, creating war for financial gain)? The only difference was that Sherlock Holmes: A Game Of Shadows was very, very good!

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Post #: 48
RE: Is it just me... - 2/1/2012 6:58:06 PM   
theEqualiser


Posts: 15
Joined: 2/1/2012
Excellent film.A great screen duo with decent chemistry.Smart,snappy and entertaining.

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Film is forever

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Post #: 49
Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz..... - 3/1/2012 10:45:43 AM   
Jack'sSmirkinRevenge

 

Posts: 147
Joined: 9/11/2005
From: Leeds
I hadn't seen the original before this one, and now I don't want to. I was soooo bored watching this and I'm amazed by all the positive reviews and comments. As artilleryman said, the BBC's Sherlock is way better.

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Post #: 50
Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz..... - 3/1/2012 11:01:35 AM   
Jack'sSmirkinRevenge

 

Posts: 147
Joined: 9/11/2005
From: Leeds
I hadn't seen the original before this one, and now I don't want to. I was soooo bored watching this and I'm amazed by all the positive reviews and comments. As artilleryman said, the BBC's Sherlock is way better.

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Post #: 51
RE: Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz..... - 6/1/2012 5:23:39 PM   
bozo


Posts: 2507
Joined: 1/11/2006
From: HM Prison Slade
Is it me or did Guy Ritchie made a Bond film set in the past?

(in reply to Jack'sSmirkinRevenge)
Post #: 52
RE: Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz..... - 6/1/2012 5:24:39 PM   
bozo


Posts: 2507
Joined: 1/11/2006
From: HM Prison Slade
Repeat post


< Message edited by bozo -- 6/1/2012 5:28:04 PM >

(in reply to Jack'sSmirkinRevenge)
Post #: 53
- 11/1/2012 6:12:26 PM   
marvelite

 

Posts: 12
Joined: 7/1/2012
as good as if not even better than the first. jude law and Downey jr make an excellent team. the sherlock holmes films are the only films thet guy ritchie has done that were not flops.

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Post #: 54
- 11/1/2012 6:12:28 PM   
marvelite

 

Posts: 12
Joined: 7/1/2012
as good as if not even better than the first. jude law and Downey jr make an excellent team. the sherlock holmes films are the only films thet guy ritchie has done that were not flops.

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Post #: 55
- 11/1/2012 6:14:17 PM   
marvelite

 

Posts: 12
Joined: 7/1/2012
by the way bozo bond has nothing on the powers of deduction of the amazingly talented sherlock holmes.

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Post #: 56
- 11/1/2012 6:14:20 PM   
marvelite

 

Posts: 12
Joined: 7/1/2012
by the way bozo bond has nothing on the powers of deduction of the amazingly talented sherlock holmes.

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Post #: 57
RE: - 12/1/2012 8:33:26 PM   
film man aidy

 

Posts: 333
Joined: 8/3/2007
Went in with high hopes, expecting an improvement on the already good first movie.
I came out deciding whether it should garner **1/2 or ***. For me, this JUST scraped ***. The handful of scenes with Holmes and Moriarty were fantastic - Two equals facing off against each other. The dialogue during those excahanges was great. If only the rest of the movie had been up to that standard.. The stuff with Irene Adler was pretty throwaway, and gave me the feeling that the actress only turned up out of contractual obligation. The plot barely registered either. And whilst the train set piece was impressive, the rest of the film was definately all style, and no substace.
Could anybody explain why Guy Richie feels the need to the show every single part of the loading and firing of any weaponry used throughout the film (complete with ramped up sound effects). By the halfway point, it just plain got on my nerves. If there is a to be a Sherlock 3, let a new director take the reins please...

(in reply to marvelite)
Post #: 58
not as good as first - 13/1/2012 4:43:21 AM   
david hayes

 

Posts: 64
Joined: 16/5/2010
not as good as first

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Post #: 59
Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows Review - 11/3/2012 2:21:51 PM   
DaleLawson


Posts: 21
Joined: 19/12/2011
From: Exmouth
To say this film is funnier, and better, than the original is an overstatement. This film has a slow beginning, with continuous banter between Holmes and Watson that felt stretched out by the end of the first film. However the film does pick up in the second half with their arrival in Switzerland. But as usual, a sequel that I personally feel failed in comparison to the original. But my opinion may be clouded because of the superiority of BBC's Sherlock.

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Post #: 60
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