Robert Downey Jr., Jude Law, Noomi Rapace, Jared Harris, Stephen Fry
Moriarty: People have an innate desire for conflict. So what you are fighting is not me, but rather mankind. War, on an industrial scale, is inevitable. I’m just supplying the bullets and bandages.
Sherlock Holmes (Downey Jr.) enlists his newly married friend Watson’s (Law) help once more as he attempts to discover who is behind a series of bombings and what their motives are.
Well, it’s just over a week since I saw this, so I might not remember it very well.
Actually, if I were writing just a once sentence review, I think that would be it. This is the kind of movie that goes into your brain, entertains it as it rattles around in there, then exits as quickly as it came. In that regard, it’s a lot like the first movie in the series. I honestly can not remember what the plot to that one was. It was a sea of British accents, grey scenery, booming music, big action sequences, and witty banter. I do know that it had Rachel McAdams in it, which is unfortunately not true for most of the sequel.
But hey, the rest of the stuff I listed was still there in the new film. Plus, for now I do remember who the villain was, which is something I can’t say about the first movie. Jared Harris is pretty good as Holmes’ arch nemesis, Professor Moriarty. Not an all time great villainous performance, but good enough. Speaking of supporting players, Noomi Rapace was also good as a gypsy whose brother might be involved in Moriarty’s nefarious plot. She’s not given a huge amount to do, but she does have a certain presence. When she’s on screen, you notice her.
I thought some of Downey and Law’s banter was a bit tired. They didn’t seem all that thrilled to be delivering it, and I wasn’t all that thrilled to be hearing it. There were a couple of funny and inspired moments between them, but for the most part, that relationship felt a little flat.
We don’t come to these movies for just the witty dialogue though. We want to see a good detective story. We want to see Holmes’ calculating brain at work, whether it’s analyzing a crime scene or planning to defend himself against three thugs in an alley. There’s plenty of moments like that, though I didn’t think the overall mystery was handled very well. To me, the movie didn’t bring the audience along for the ride enough. Some aspects are explained so quickly that there’s no mystery to it at all, which is no fun. Meanwhile, in other ways I felt a bit lost.
I think people want to be able to put themselves in Holmes’ shoes and play detective as the movie rolls along. Unfortunately, I don’t think this movie provides the audience with the ability to do that. Thus, we sit back, watch, feel reasonably entertained, then move along. I’m sure by the time the next sequel comes around, I’ll have forgotten what happened in this one.
Maybe that’s their goal though, as filmmakers. That way they can just keep making the same movie over and over and nobody will ever notice.
“And the little plastic castle is a surprise every time…”
Slow and steady wins the race.
10 – 1.5 for some of the witty dialogue feeling tired and not so witty – .7 because it just seems so grey, bleak and visually depressing at times – 1.5 for the mystery aspect not being handled so well = 6.3