Friday, December 16, 2011

The 12 Days of Blogs-mas: Episode III

I had a wonderful date day with the wife and I'm going to talk about the movie we went and saw this afternoon. And this movie was Tom Cruise free too!

It's elementary my dear reader!

I'm going to try my damn best to keep this as spoiler free as humanly possible here just because I'm writing a review for a film that *just* opened today. Ok, here we go....

Sherlock and Watson are on the case of Professor James Moriarty who is using his considerable intellect and resources for assorted nefarious deeds which are coalescing into a grand scale masterstroke. The game between Holmes and Moriarty take the viewer through the streets of London, Paris, into Germany and finally Switzerland where the showdown between the great minds finally goes down.

That's the spoiler free short of it. See? I kept it spoiler free. But did I like this movie?


I didn't just like this movie, I loved it. It took what I did like with the first movie (the characters and mystery aspects) and ramped it up. Downey Jr is just great as Holmes and I can't see anyone else playing Dr. Watson other than Jude Law. He was a wonderful foil for the insane genius that is Downey's Holmes. And in this movie, since they are already known to the audience, you see they are more than just partners they are brothers and treat each other as such more so than before.

Speaking of brothers......Stephen Fry as Mycroft Holmes is just perfect casting. He is just absurdly witty and sublimely sarcastic while also maintaining the Holmes family tradition of being oblivious to polite social practices. One scene in particular with Mycroft had me laughing so hard my side started to cramp up. It involves Mycroft and Watson's wife in his home. You'll know it when it happens.

Noomi Rapace as the gypsy Madam Simza was a nice addition to the Holmes crew of intrepid investigators. Rachel McAdams returns as Irene Adler from the first movie and I still like the character. I wish there was more of her in the movie.

Finally to round out the cast I need to talk about the Jared Harris as Professor James Moriarty. He is the most is the most evil villain I've seen in YEARS. He plays Moriarty with a level of confidence and intelligence that you got from reading the original Doyle books. He's driven, ruthless, brutal, calculating. He's perfect. And how he and Downey play off each other in each of their meetings through out the movie is priceless and had me wanting more. I think this may be even an Oscar worthy performance. He's that good and he should be being the son of legendary Sir Richard Harris! He took this role and absolutely owned it.

The music was well done for the soundtrack and added lots of flavor to the feel of the look of the movie. Guy Ritchie's action scenes are still enjoyable to watch and are adrenaline pumping inducing affairs. The costumes looked great for the period. And even some of the more 'suspending disbelief' set pieces of the film didn't feel out of place.

The movie was a great ride full of thrills and laughs. Its not a hardcore detective story like some Holmes purists are craving but for a good time at the theater you can't beat it. I honestly prefer seeing a version of Holmes more akin to a Victorian age Batman than the stuffy pipe smoking frail detective. It makes a better movie experience overall. In fact I'd even go as far to say that the way Downey plays Holmes is a cross between Batman with the intelligence of Doctor Who. He's generally 10 steps further ahead of what comes out of his mouth and twenty steps ahead of the people he's trying to catch.

Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows is worth going to see and worth seeing even at full evening ticket price. It was just a fun film that made both my wife and I smile for the rest of the day.

*Oh and the trailer for The Dark Knight Rises was before it too. Damn thing gave me the a good way!*