Dec 17, 2011

BP Film Review: Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows

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IMDB Plot Summery 
Sherlock Holmes and his sidekick Dr. Watson join forces to outwit and bring down their fiercest adversary, Professor Moriarty.

By Christian Salinas
I really enjoyed the first film (or the most recent modern adaptation). Plus, I've always been fascinated by the character of Sherlock Holmes,  so I had some pretty high expectations for Game of Shadows. I can't say I was disappointed, but I wouldn't exactly say this film met all my expectations.

Entertainment Value...
The entertainment value of Game of Shadows is a little tricky to gauge, but it's pretty high if you're a fan of the legend of Sherlock Holmes. Being that it's a modern action adventure, most of the action sequences are fast, loud, but visually exciting. I also found the scenes between the action sequences (or the rest of the movie) just as entertaining. The characters were all interesting in their own individual way, and  I really appreciated the “look” of the entire production, from the grittiness of of 19th century London to the elaborateness of all costume design.

Speaking (or writing) as part of a general movie audience, Game of Shadows can feel a little long at times. I'm sure it's part of trying to maintain authenticity, but the characters heavy English accent makes some of the dialog hard to understand, and some of the action sequences are a little too fast, so much so that they can be hard keep up with. There was more than one fight sequence in which I kept asking myself “Didn't they just kill that guy?”. The overall plot can also be tough to follow if you don't pay close attention to everything happening in the film, even the slightest details. Again, I'm sure this is also intentional to maintain authenticity being that the entire movie is based on a character famous for his powers of deduction. In spite of all of that however, I would still recommend this film because, it has a some pretty cool elements lacking from most modern action films such as a great thought-provoking story , very well developed characters, and health balance of action sequences.  Speaking as a fan of literary Sherlock Holmes however, Game of Shadows is a little frustrating. Everyone knows what makes Holmes the world greatest detective is his uncanny power of deduction. It also also well known that his greatest nemesis is Professor James Moriarty. Both the professor and Holmes' deductive reasoning are featured in the film, but nowhere near the levels that they dominate the original stories. The entire plot of the film may revolve around the conflict between Holmes and Moriarty, but with so many twists and turns in the story, it just doesn't “feel” that way.

The Good...
Game of Shadows is a very well made film featuring interesting characters, visually amazing action sequences, and great production design.

The Not So Good...
The movie can feel long at times, some of the dialog is tough to understand, and the plot can be tough to follow.

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