New Sherlock Holmes film kicks it up a notch

New Sherlock Holmes film kicks it up a notch

The detective-doctor duo is back and better than ever.

While dressed in the finest English fashion of the late 19thcentury, Sherlock Holmes (Robert Downey Jr.) and his dashing partner John Watson (Jude Law) are hot on the heels of Holmes’s greatest adversary yet: the ruthless Professor Moriarty (Jared Harris) in Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows.  The movie premiered Friday, Dec. 16.

The movie wastes no time in tying up the threads left loose from the first Sherlock Holmes movie.  The opening scenes finally reveal the mysterious client seen with Irene Adler (Rachel McAdams) in the first installment to be Professor Moriarty.  After Holmes inconveniences one of Moriarty’s schemes once again, the game becomes dangerous between the two geniuses.

Holmes must overcome his own personal conflicts and play his pieces wisely if he wants to checkmate Moriarty’s deadly scheme for power.  Along the way, Holmes will find an unlikely alliance in the gypsy woman Simza Heron (Noomi Rapace) and put his sharp sleuth abilities to the absolute test.

I have mainly praise for this movie, but I do want to clear some of the other major criticisms from fellow reviewers.  Many who have adored the original Sherlock Holmes novels by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle have found Downey’s portrayal of Holmes a complete deviation from his character.

Though I am not familiar with the original Holmes, I do know the major premises behind the character’s design: master of disguise, quick with quips, lady’s man, undeniable genius, and martial arts expert.  Downey meets all of these requirements. If you are an original Holmes fan, perhaps you can find it in your heart to forgive the differences of this modern adaption.

For those who are like me and only have general knowledge of Holmes and have already seen the first movie, you will adore the second. Guaranteed.

The movie is packed with action that will have the viewers on the edges of their seats.  Director Guy Ritchie’s choice in slowing down time when Holmes plans out his assaults or meticulously ponders a scheme is an effective and unique approach in this movie.  There are plenty of fast paced fighting scenes and suspenseful sequences that will put viewers in the moment and leave them begging for more.

The dialogue is witty and sharp, perfect for the characters involved in this intricate game between masterminds.  The acting is real and raw, and the chemistry between Downey and Law is undeniable.  Interpret that further if you want, because Holmes and Watson are the very definition of “bromance.”

As great as the film is, there are a few weaknesses.  Understandably, it can become rather complicated for a person to follow the case, due to its complicated and intricately involved nature, and Holmes’s evidence and back-tracking can become muddled.  The movie’s attempt to indirectly explain what is going on to the reader leaves plot holes and can leave people scratching their heads.

This is not a movie that you can simply sit back and watch. You will need to pay attention.  And somehow, you will have your eyes glued to the screen the entire two hours of this movie.

Other than that, the comedic interactions between characters, the flawless delivery of memorable lines, and being able to see Downey in several over-the-top, ridiculous disguises are worth every penny of your movie ticket.  Emphasis must be placed on how hard I laughed in the theater when I saw this movie. It was a lot funnier than I had expected, due to Downey and Jude, who are fabulous actors that deliver excellence.

The movie’s strengths far surpass its weaknesses with believable and lively character interaction, plenty of laughs, a wonderfully witty script, plenty of action-packed scenes, and much more.

It’s elementary, my dear reader, that you go see this movie.

Grace Kim is the Online Chief for The Patriot and