Friday, January 6, 2012

Sherlock Holmes: A Game Of Shadows

Holmes(Downey) and Watson(Law)
International incidents after Holmes said his prophetic words, "Case Reopened" in the previous movie. Holmes gathered all the cases which was connected to Professor Moriarty, as revealed by Irene Adler in the last movie.

Sherlock Holmes is a fictional character created by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle in 1887 in the novel, A Study In Scarlet. Doyle wrote three more novels and fifty six short stories. For generations, readers are awed with Holmes' exploits and law enforcement everywhere uses Holmes' method of solving crime through observation and deduction. This brought life to what is now called forensics investigation as it was familiarized with the CSI series. Physical characteristics of Holmes appears as tall, lean stature, and with a hawk-like nose.Holmes is also an eccentric character which can be describe as a weirdo or a jerk. His friend and chronicler Dr. John H. Watson, was shorter than Holmes and stout as both describe by Doyle.
Holmes' first appearance

Review: I first became a fan of Sherlock Holmes after reading one of Doyle's original novels, The Hound of The Baskervilles way back in high school. Since then, I read all what Doyle wrote about Holmes and watched other non-canon stories featured in both television and the movies. The non-canon stories are expansion furthering the adventures of Holmes and Watson after Doyle died. Although the adventures applied the same principle of crime solving, they didn't describe Holmes' eccentricity. When I first saw the trailer that Robert Downey Jr. is playing Sherlock Holmes in 2009, I became skeptical because the trailer show only the action scenes. I am not worried about Downey,Jr. since I know he could pull it off but there were inconsistent matter to be considered. Downey,Jr. is not British unlike his co-star Jude Law who's playing Watson. Compared to the Doyle canon, Downey,Jr. is shorter than Law. A friend also described that Downey is too sexy for Sherlock Holmes because Holmes is not what Doyle described as drop-dead handsome but it was only a minor detail. Good thing is that Sherlock Holmes is not a licensed character.
Iconic image of Sherlock Holmes

But after watching the 2009 movie, I find the story extra-canonical since it has fragments from the Doyle stories like the picture of Irene Adler found in Holmes' study. Unlike the previous predecessors on screen adaptation of the character, Guy Ritchie's Sherlock Holmes was the most detailed from the Doyle stories. Downey,Jr. portrayed Holmes as Doyle describe. He's just as eccentric as Holmes in the Doyle stories. Unlike the previous Sherlock Holmes onscreen, Downey, Jr. emphasized as a fighter. In Doyle's original stories, Holmes was an excellent marksman and boxer. I am fascinated what Downey,Jr.'s fighting skills which he demonstrated from the two Holmes movies. It was similar to savate, a French martial arts that is best suited for the Victorian period.

Downey, Jr. and Law was the most surprising revelation. You never thought that they will have a chemistry that goes well with the action and the comedy that goes on between the pair. Although the character of Irene Adler was shown as treacherous, Rachel McAdams was not my ideal choice for the role. She might as well be doing mean girl role again. Noomi Rapace was a great actress that can kick some rear. She was good at her role as Simza, the gypsy fortune teller and a good street fighter. She and the Cossack assassin displayed fighting styles that was suited for them.
Noomi Rapace as Simza

For Mycroft Holmes, Sherlock's older brother, played by Stephen Fry, didn't displayed the his talents of deductive reasoning which was supposed to be better than Sherlock but he played a major role of this adventure. Stephen Fry's credential as a British comedian was ideal for the role of Mycroft.

Jared Harris was not my ideal actor as Professor James Moriarty but that changed after watching the movie. He was very charismatic and devious at the same time that you can almost see the menacing look in his eye that will make you shiver. Moriarty was described by Holmes as the "Napeoleon of Crime". This was first quoted directly from the Holmes' last short story, The Final Problem.
Jared Harris as Moriarty

Overall, A Game of Shadows exceeded my expectations which doesn't happen in a movie sequel. Thanks to the direction of Guy Ritchie. Sherlock Holmes: A Game Of Shadows opens in the Philippines on January 8, 2012 and is distributed locally by Warner Bros. Phils.
Full figure statue of Sherlock Holmes in Edinburgh, Scotland. Doyle's  birthplace.

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