Guy Ritchie (Madonna's ex) has done a fabulous job with one of the most adapted literary characters EVER! Apparently Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes first hit celluloid in 1900 in a 30 second long novelty film called Sherlock Holmes Baffled. 260 odd titles later, we have our most recent endeavors, including Sherlock Holmes and Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows, starring Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law (and modern day versions Sherlock and Elementary discussed elsewhere on my blog).
|Sherlock Holmes 2: A Game of Shadows|
I admit I am a sucker for Robert Downey Jr. He is just so darn likeable as Holmes and you have to love an American actor who can nail an English accent like that. Mmmmmm. And adding just the right amount of comedy to an action film is his specialty no matter which century he lands in. Well done!
Jude Law is great too as second fiddle Watson. He is the voice of reason, when reason seems unlikely and does a fine job of being perennially exasperated. The dog Gladstone is also one of my favourite characters, the poor thing, always being drugged or something. Odd that I would put the dog and Jude Law in the same paragraph, but there you are!
|Robert Downey Jr. as Sherlock Holmes and Jude Law as Watson|
Both of these films are a wonderful updating of Sherlock Holmes for the new millennium. Making the streets of Victorian London sufficiently grubby is a lovely change from some of the overly rosy sets we have seen in the past. And adding action sequences, slowed down for maximum effectiveness and pointing out clues at just the right time for those of us who need the signposts is brilliant.
|Lovely sets but dirty enough for believability.|
I saw the first SH in the theatre but waited to rent the second one until recently as I thought it couldn't possibly be as entertaining as the first. I am so glad to say that I was wrong and that I was pleasantly surprised by the sequel. "Two teacups up" for both of these films. I don't usually go for action flicks but set in Victorian London, and done this well, it was a treat. And I think my hubby, The Squire, was grateful to finally get a whiff of testosterone amongst my film choices!
Sherlock Holmes: [voice-over] Head cocked to the left, partial deafness in ear: first point of attack. Two: throat; paralyze vocal chords, stop scream. Three: got to be a heavy drinker, floating rib to the liver. Four: finally, drag in left leg, fist to patella. Summary prognosis: unconscious in ninety seconds, martial efficacy quarter of an hour at best. Full faculty recovery: unlikely.
|Mark Strong as Lord Blackwood|
Mark Strong plays the villain Lord Blackwood in the first outing. I love that they added some "hubba hubba" for those of us who still think of Mr. Knightley when we see Mark Strong. It's a pity he is the baddie, but still adorable!
|Jared Harris as Moriarty|
The villain in the sequel is played by Jared Harris as a truly creepy Moriarty. Good acting but not even remotely as appealing as Mark Strong. Sorry Jared.
|Rachel McAdams as Irene Adler|
Rachel McAdams does a creditable job as Irene Adler, part love interest, part...well...pain in the ass? Well done. A very realistic portrayal of many couple's relationships. Although the real couple are of course Holmes and Watson who are an old married couple, merrily bickering away. Makes you wonder how Guy Ritchie has such insight into marital squabbling doesn't it? Lots of fun and never a dull moment.
Dr. John Watson: Oh, how I've missed you, Holmes.
Sherlock Holmes: Have you? Why? I've barely noticed your absence.
Go ahead and watch these if you haven't already. Great for an evening of light entertainment. And your men will thank you for the nice change!
I may watch them both again in the near future. Cheers!