EDITOR'S NOTE: Film Fans features local residents reviewing the film of the week: "Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows." Want to be a film fan? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
3 out of 4 Stars
"Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows" stars Robert Downey Jr. as Detective Holmes, and Jude Law as Watson, his loyal assistant and best friend. This movie portrays why mysteries appeal to so many: lots of action and explosions, running and fighting (in riveting slow motion, might I add), smart story line, beguiling characters and a touch of romance. It is appropriate that this wasn't titled as a "Part Two," since it stands alone as a separate story from the first Sherlock Holmes movie.
Downey plays a slightly neurotic, extremely intelligent detective with a remarkable ability to notice details, and predict possible "chess moves" and repercussions in advance. Sherlock is also a master of disguises with the ability of cleverly blending in so that his presence is unnoticed.
Enters reserved Watson at the introduction of the movie, in the throes of pre-wedding plans and anxiously anticipating his nuptials with his fiancee Mary. One of the most enjoyable aspects of this movie is to be privy to the dynamics of Sherlock's and Watson's friendship of bickering and almost eye-rolling acceptance of each other and each other's behavior.
This is a lengthy movie, timed at two hours and nine minutes. After I thought I understood the plot, near the end of the movie several new sub-plots unfolded. The multitude of sub-themes distracted from the movie's (and villain Moriarty's) main plot.
All-in-all, still a very good movie, and worth watching.
-- Cathryn Veal, Lawrenceville
2 out of 4 Stars
This second installment of the Sherlock Holmes series gets off to a very slow (dull) start and although it eventually picks up the pace, the story never becomes engaging. The problem is a plot that is convoluted, sometimes confusing and seems much longer than its two hours and eight minutes. I thought the movie was near the end at one point but, no, it twisted in another direction leaving me wondering who the target of the bad guy is now. It doesn't help that Robert Downey Jr.'s British accent is sometimes difficult to understand.
Rachel McAdams has a bit role and Noomi Rapace's (of the original "Dragon Tattoo" films) character looks gloomy throughout and basically just follows Holmes and Watson.
As expected, there are funny moments between Sherlock and Watson and the return of the extreme slow motion scenes toward the end of the movie are fun to watch but, overall, not enough to warrant seeing this at theater prices.
-- Francine Benoit, Lawrenceville
1/2 star out of 4 Stars
I was not a fan of the first one back in 2009, but had hopes that the sequel would be much better. If I were at home, watching TV, I would have turned the channel about five minutes into it. This was probably the worst movie I have seen all year, and I see a lot of movies.
It didn't get interesting until about an hour into it, and still that isn't saying much. The plot jumped around and was extremely difficult to follow.
The costumes were great and the set design was wonderful.
I like Robert Downey Jr. (Sherlock Holmes) and Jude Law (Watson), and their cat and mouse games were somewhat funny. The ending was creative and liked the ending, yet I was also ready for it to be over.
-- Kelly Cain, Lawrenceville