Saturday, October 13, 2012

Loveable Freak Reviews: Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows

  At long last, I'm properly reviewing Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows! I've stated how much I love this movie, but now I'm going to go more in-depth about my thoughts on this movie (it's gonna take a while), and it may include a tad more...

I'm using some gifs now. Gifs are cool.
  So be forewarned, those who haven't seen this fantastic movie! Here, there be spoilers.

  Okay, before I get to the actual movie, I have to comment on two of the DVD's ads. One, I find it kind of funny that they have an anti-smoking ad on the DVD, when Holmes and Watson clearly smoke in this movie! (If I'd have been thinking, I'd have kept a tally. Oh well, what could have been...)

  Second, I love that they have an advertisement promoting the DVD and Blu-Ray for Sherlock Series II (or "Season II" as they called it to make it easier for us Americans...). I think it's nice that they aren't pretending they're the only Sherlock Holmes anything out nowadays and promoting another Holmes work. See, Sherlock fandom? They can play nice with the other Sherlock Holmes works and get along! So why can't we all get along?

  Okay, on to the actual movie. A Game of Shadows chronicles the adventures of Sherlock Holmes (played once again by Robert Downey Jr., or "Downeylock" as I call him) and Dr. John Watson (played by Jude Law, who I have yet to come up with a clever nickname for... ("LaWatson?" "Lawson?")) as they trek across Europe (mainly France, Germany, and inevitably Switzerland) to stop the nefarious Professor James Moriarty (played by Jared Harris, who I haven't even bothered with nicknaming, yet). Along the way, they get help from a band of gypsies, Watson gets married, Holmes, Moriarty, and their respective allies cause a lot of stuff to blow up, and we get what is in my humble opinion the best. movie. ending. EVER!

  Okay, so first of all, in this movie, Rachel McAdams's Irene Adler ("McAddler"?) is killed via poison by Moriarty, because she is of no further use to him. *sigh* I shall miss her and her Catwoman/Batman-eske dynamic with Downeylock. WHY MCADDLER!? As cool and nonchalantly as Moriarty killed you here, WHY MUST YOU DIE WHILE LARA PULVER'S ADLER ("Padler?" Oh, I give up on coming up with nicknames until further notice!) LIVES!? (Oops. "Belgravia" spoilers...)

  Though, I did read a theory by some anonymous guy on TV Tropes that Adler could be alive and faked her death. I don't know, I think it's unlikely, and it probably won't happen. But I can see how it could be possible. Like if you do the math that:

                       Irene Adler's proven to be >/= (<- greater than or equal to sign) Sherlock Holmes,
                       and Sherlock Holmes >/= Professor James Moriarty,
                       so by law of substitution/just plain logic,
                       Irene Adler >/= Professor James Moriarty.

  *sigh* Movie!Adler, you are SO much easier to do abstract math for than Sherlock!Adler...

  Anyway, enough of that. Besides, Downeylock is still awesome, with or without her! He doesn't need to be in a romantic relationship anyway...

  Yes, Downeylock is still as amazing as he was the last movie, if not more so. In fact, I love how they show that, despite being undeniably brilliant, he's not some omnipotent, deductive god, and screws up sometimes. He's still very much the Holmes I fell in love with and made me fall in love with Sherlock Holmes things in general.

  And, again, Jude Law shines as Watson once again. I love that they let Watson be brilliant here, as well. Like when he gets in on Sherlock and Mycroft's (Sherlock's older brother) "deduct-off". Even Mycroft admits "he's not as dull-witted as you say..." (a clever nod to the "not so bright" interpretation of the good doctor.)  But I do admit to getting a giggle out of seeing him, the "straight man" of the duo, drunk, hungover to the point of almost acting like a small, sleepy child, and ridiculously dancing in this movie, too... ;)

   The duo's chemistry is still amazing in this movie. Though, I must admit, they certainly got more... "bromantic" this time around. The most blatant examples (to me) being that... kind of awkward fight scene on the train (which I can't help but wonder what was going through the minds of Moriarty's men when they saw that) and the ballroom dance scene:

  Yeah... I think it's a bad sign when, during the scene where Holmes is only mostly dead and Watson's trying desperately to bring him back, that besides thinking: "The adrenaline shot/epi-pen/Chekhov's gun, Watson! Use it! It's a better use then what you were planning to use it for, man!", I was half-expecting him to try to use the kiss of life? (Which then prompted me to be filled with shame, and fear I was turning into one of those fangirls...) But all joking, snark, and possible over-thinking aside, I still love their friendship.

 One more and again before getting to the "new stuff", Hans Zimmer's music is still as glorious as always. My two favorite songs this time being "The End" and "Romanian Wind".

  ANYWAY, enough being a broken record, on to some of the newer elements! :D

  First of all, the big thing here is Holmes's arch-nemesis, Moriarty! Jared Harris plays Moriarty spectacularly! Yeah, I know in an earlier post I said I preferred Andrew Scott's Moriarty (and I still like him, but I'll get into why when I review "The Great Game"), but at the time, it had been about three months since I'd seen this movie, so it was a little fuzzy. Except for the scene where he IMPALES SHERLOCK'S SHOULDER WITH A HOOK, HANGS HIM FROM SAID HOOK, PLAYS/SINGS SHUBERT TO HIM, PLAYS SHERLOCK'S CRIES OF AGONY OVER A PA SYSTEM SO WATSON CAN HEAR, AND BASICALLY TORTURES SHERLOCK! Yeah, that scene was still (and always will be) engraved in my mind forever!

  But now that I've re-watched this at least twice, I feel I can appreciate him a little more than the me of seven months ago. He's clever, subtle, and just magnificently evil. It's really awesome to watch, as all good villains are. He is very much the evil equivalent of Holmes. And his plan in this film (to buy up all the businesses that deal with war necessities, then instigate The Great War/World War I) is ingenious. And the final showdown between Holmes and Moriarty is fantastic. They pretty much fight most of it in their minds, via classic Holmes-O-Vision and spectacular new Moriarty-O-Vision! (Warning: Moriarty-O-Vision is not available in all incarnations...) I'll get to the resolution of that later. Anyway, Moriarty is great here. Nice job, Harris. I'm sorry I said I thought I liked Scott's more, I like you both equally for different reasons (and some similar ones I'll explain in a later post). Moving on!

  We also have Moriarty's right hand man, Col. Sebastian Moran (Paul Anderson). He is just as awesome as his boss! Moffat! Gatiss! Thompson, maybe! (But mostly Gatiss, he is in charge of the "Empty House" episode, after all...) If you're reading this, watch this movie and take notes! Moran had better be this awesome in Series 3 of Sherlock! I really hope we see him again. But, just for an example of how awesome Moran is here, I present a (sadly poor quality) clip:

  And we also finally meet Mycroft Holmes! Here, he's played by Stephen Fry (who now I can't think of without thinking of this song). Fry does a great job of playing Sherlock's older brother. He was the first one I ever saw as Mycroft (again, I saw these movies before Sherlock and reading the books), and I like him for that. And I love how, like his character's first appearance in the story "The Greek Interpreter", he and his little brother "Sherly" get into a little "Deduce-Off". It was a nice way to introduce him.
  One more character introduced is a new character: a gypsy named Simza played by Noomi Rapace. She (the character) is alright, and Rapace plays her well, but I'm not attached to the character. I don't dislike her, but I don't adore her, especially not like Adler or (as I came to adore with this movie) Mary Watson (formerly Morstan). But, I will admit, I am jealous because Sim got to steal then wear Watson's hat. >:( Lucky...
  Anyway, the moment I've been waiting to get to: The Ending! The ending was phenomenal! Again, when I first saw this, I had no idea about The Canon, the movies were all I knew. So I was shocked when Holmes grabbed Moriarty and flung the two of them over the falls. I remember thinking:
"No... They can't be doing this. He... he can't be dead. He survived somehow...Right?"
  Then it got to the funeral, and Watson's narration. And then I thought:
"They...they're going through with this? :( But... but I don't want Holmes to die. I like him..."
  Then came the end, where it's revealed that Sherlock did survive! And he's hiding in Watson's house in his "urban camouflage"! (which, by the way, makes it fun to re-watch to try and spot him) To which I felt like applauding. My thoughts were something along the lines of:
"You faked your own death and are hiding, in camouflage, in your friend's house without his knowledge?"
Okay, I added the "I bloody love you" part later...
  It was quite a finale. Though my inner scientist can't help but wonder how. I mean, yes, he had the breathing thing, but with the force of the fall, the rocks at the bottom, and the cold water... I know, it's just a movie, I should really just relax, but I still want to know. He let go of Moriarty, so he obviously didn't use him to cushion the impact like a human air bag. Was it some crazy survival thing? Is he just more durable? Or is it just the fact he's played by Robert Downey Jr.,  so I should accept that as the answer for now and deal with it?

...He's played by Robert Downey Jr., I should accept that as the answer for now and deal with it...

  Okay, wow, this is long. Last minute thoughts:
  • I cracked up at watching Sherlock Holmes ride a pony. I feel that sentence should be followed by a "your argument is invalid". Thus, I love it.
  • I have a lot of favorite scenes. The aforementioned Pony, Riechenbach! (DUN DUN DUN!*thunderclap*), and final scenes. The gypsy camp scene (Watson dancing ridiculously and Holmes... dancing(?). That is all). The forest scene (loved the striking visuals and Moran's quick scoping). The opening scene (Oh, Adler, I will miss you next movie. And Sherlock is still the man). The train scene (Mary got to do something awesome, Watson and Holmes were awesome as usual, and we got to see Robert Downey Jr. in drag! XD) And.... Well, let's stop there before this list gets too long... ;)
  • I liked seeing more of Mary and Watson together (ah, my honest OTP! How I love their relationship. Especially in The Sign of Four). Heck, I loved seeing more of Mary, period. She did a lot of awesome things in this movie, like when she pulled Watson's gun on the guy attacking them. I hope they ignore the fact Mary dies before "The Empty House", and let her be in the next movie. Hey, maybe she'll get to tag along with Holmes and Watson next time! Please? I really like her...
  •  I noticed last time I watched this, on the train, Downeylock at one point (shortly after pushing Mary off the train ("I timed it perfectly!")) calls Watson "John". I think it was nice to hear a little "first name basis" use. Shows Cumberlock's not the only one (as far as I know of) capable of doing so. Your move, Millerlock!
  • I still want everyone's hats...
  • Am I the only one who thinks Downeylock totally secretly tagged along on Watson's honeymoon at the end?
  • I find it funny that yet another movie with Jude Law has him narrate (at least at the beginning and the end) as his character types at a typewriter, writing about the main character.
  • And I also want Moran's dart cane. That is awesome.
  Overall, this is still one of my favorite movies ever. It's just amazing, and everyone (after watching the first) should watch it.


  1. 0-o Gifs are awesome!
    Use more!
    Use them often!

    1. Nice to see you again, UnicornSlayer! And thanks! I will use Gifs more often. Especially "Spoilers" ones...