Monday, January 09, 2012

Gainful ‘Game’

Guy Ritchie’s sequel to his clever and gritty “Sherlock Holmes” pits the quirky detective (Robert Downey, Jr.) and his hesitant partner Watson (Jude Law) against an unusually formidable foe.

In “A Game of Shadows,” the duo’s lively rapport is re-established; Holmes and Watson investigate anew and are targeted by the mysterious Professor Moriarty (Jared Harris).

Like the first “Sherlock,” the sequel emphasizes the uniqueness of this particular version of the detective. Holmes here is just as calculating and imperturbable, practically a dozen steps (or several seconds) ahead of his opponents’ moves. Whether he’s confronting bruisers in an alley or plotting against the Professor, quick-thinking Holmes has got most of the angles covered, and his oft-uncouth appearance belies his tactical prowess.

Irene Adler’s (Rachel McAdams) absence in the trailer is explained; she briefly appears in a few scenes and enlivens them. The other female character is the fortune teller Sim (Noomi Rapace), who joins the inquisitive pair in their mission. She’s less imposing than Adler, and is actually pretty indistinct, personality-wise.

The adventure is quite complicated; it takes some time for puzzles to unravel, but you’ll eventually admire the crafty machinations of Professor Moriarty. Quite the cunning schemer, he’s actually a worthy arch-foe, providing momentous confrontations with Holmes.

The film could’ve been shorter, but “Game” mostly combines smarts with rough-and-tumble coolness, further and firmly reminding us of Downey’s flexibility, and the reinvented protagonist’s misfit appeal. 

No comments: