Last night I saw the holiday blockbuster, “Sherlock Holmes: Game of Shadows.” This is the sequel to the first Sherlock Holmes movie starring Robert Downing Jr., & Jude Law.
When talking about a sequel there is always a paragraph or a side conversation that has to take place. This side conversation covers the bases of “ Why did Hollywood make a sequel? Was it for a quick laugh, a quick 3-D revamp, because the main character didn’t die, etc” Or did the story actually need another chapter? That is my vote for Sherlock Holmes 2.
The first Sherlock Holmes was great. You laughed at the banter between Holmes & Watson, Holmes & Irene, Holmes & well practically everyone. You oohed & aahed at the quickness of the fighting scenes. You became a detective yourself trying to figure out the mystery. And you did wish that a second movie would be made at least so you could see the face of that “professor” in carriage!
The first Sherlock Holmes was a feel-good, laugh-well, special effects galore blockbuster. To be honest, I enjoyed it but I wasn’t ecstatic about it like my friends. I wanted something more to come of it. I was expecting more a traditional Guy Richie film (Snatch, Rock n’ Rolla, & Lock, Stock, Two Smoking Barrels, etc) I was over the Robert Downing Jr. hype, I wanted more then good one-liners & a passed out dog.
Sherlock Holmes 2 gave that to me. Yes, the one-liners came back & even the passed out dog but both of these faded to the background allowing the character development & cinematography to take center stage.
*The remaining might spoil the move, so don’t read on if you haven’t seen it yet. So, GO SEE IT! It is worth it, then come back & comment your thoughts below*
The friendship of Watson & Sherlock is solidified in the second movie. In the first, their friendship is more of a bro-mance of sorts. Watson admires Sherlock’s gifts & gets dragged into these crazy situations due to Sherlock’s admiration for Watson’s level headed-ness & impeccable timing. But outside the heat of battle, they can’t stop bickering, which does provide for some good laughs but by the end you really just want these men to grow up. In the second, their friendship matures into a brotherhood. Sherlock being Watson’s best man visually represents that but also Sherlock’s determination to get Watson to the wedding (in whatever state he may be in) shows that with banter aside, Sherlock holds Watson as a brother. There friendship deepens w/ Sherlock’s request to Moriarty to take Watson out of the equation, & then Sherlock’s destructive success of saving Watson & his new wife.
The character of Sherlock deepens when he finds out that his love, Irene Adler, has killed by Moriarty. Vengeance is born through a broken heart. Watson finding her blood-stained kerchief & Sherlock then throwing it away while Watson looks on, beautifully illustrates that this is more important then solving a case, it is to put things to rest.
Then the cinematography, oh my. Guy Richie directed both Sherlock Holmes films, but I would have to say the second is his crown jewel. The grit & dirt that is usually accustom to a Richie film is evident through both. But, the quick-secession action shots (the loading of the huge German artillery gun) that are Richie’s signature are only in the second. That is also why I love the second, it displays the director’s true colors.
But not only does Guy Richie use his usual tricks but he also invents new ones. The running through the woods scene near the end of the movie is mind blowing. (No pun intended.) Take one part Guy Richie, one part Matrix, one part slow-mo & stir it all together, add a pinch of “Did That Just Happen!” & presto, you have one of the most visually stirring scenes I have seen at the movies. I want to write a whole blog post just about that scene but I would not do it justice. Just go see the movie & buckle up for a crazy ride.
Now the burning question is, “Was the second better then the first?” I had to think over this one for a while. My conclusion is that “Sherlock Holmes: Game of Shadows is a perfect sequel to the first Sherlock Holmes.” To me, the second is more visually stirring & there is more character depth. But you had to have the first to get to the second. The one-liners & passed out dog got us hooked on this crazy detective. So hooked that it brought us back to the theaters to figure out one more case with him.
I enjoyed the adventures of Sherlock Holmes, how about you?