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Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows Movie Review

Thursday, December 15th, 2011 — 1:45pm PDT
Comments 5

Twenty years ago I was named an honorary member of The Stormy Petrels of BC, Vancouver’s official Sherlock Holmes Society. My mother had become President (a position she still holds today) and her passion for the great detective had rubbed off. Snuggled in at night we would read about the Blue Carbuncle, Silver Blaze, and the Scandal in Bohemia.

There are many Holmesian groups across the world, including our closest neighbours, the Sound of the Baskervilles in Seattle. Each meets to discuss the canon and host Victorian-themed events while sporting deerstalkers and perhaps a magnifying glass or two.

Following the first Guy Ritchie Sherlock Holmes film in 2009, my mother was interviewed by The Vancouver Sun. “It had something for everyone, which was great,” she said. “People liked the costumes and the sets were amazing, the special effects, the historical accuracy was very good. It had everything: mystery, drama, suspense, intrigue, a lot of action, and comedy. At the end, it did leave it wide open for a sequel, something to look forward to.” Fans are indeed ready for Holmes’ next adventure on the big screen:

Robert Downey Jr. reprises his role as the world’s most famous detective, Sherlock Holmes, and Jude Law returns as his formidable colleague, Dr. Watson, in “Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows“.

Sherlock Holmes has always been the smartest man in the room… until now. There is a new criminal mastermind at large—Professor Moriarty (Jared Harris)—and not only is he Holmes’ intellectual equal, but his capacity for evil, coupled with a complete lack of conscience, may actually give him an advantage over the renowned detective.

Holmes’ investigation into Moriarty’s plot becomes ever more dangerous as it leads him and Watson out of London and across Europe, to France, Germany and finally to Switzerland.

I sent The Stormy Petrels to the advanced screening last night. Here’s my mother’s review:

It was an era of great change and new beginnings. A clash of old vs new and, of course, good vs evil.

Where old seasoned Sherlockians in the audience may be a little more critical of details, younger audience members who have never read an original Sherlock Holmes book seemed to really enjoy the movie for what it was. A suspenseful, action-packed adventure.

It was about partnerships and relationships. The Holmes/Watson partnership was very strong, as it should be. Holmes would have been lost without his Watson. It was good to see, once more, how strong Watson’s character was and that is also how he was meant to be portrayed.

Let’s face it, Robert Downey Jr. may not be the image most Sherlockians conjure up as Sherlock Holmes, but each person has their own ideal image.

We need to keep the ‘Holmes fires’ from dimming. This movie, as I saw it, was quite successful in re-kindling that flame. Not in a mocking fashion, but in an adventurous, exciting way. The most important thing to remember, Sherlockians, is that this movie, once again, brought the name of Sherlock Holmes to the forefront.

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  1. vfxvancouver says:

    Maybe you (or your mom) could mention that all those vfx were done right here in Vancouver by MPC in Yaletown.

  2. Mom604 says:

    @vfxvancouver I was not aware of that. Thank you for that info. Well done!

  3. Rather than looking for a full realization of the Doyle’s character, I’d like to see how the intrepid spirit and character come to life on the big-screen. Thanks, @mom604, for your review, and, @miss604, for your post about the new movie.

  4. Johnie MacIntyre says:

    I don’t know if you’ve come across the other Sherlock, but I think the BBC’s version of it (and the 3 upcoming episodes) do a good job of bringing Holmes into the 21st Century. Take a look:

  5. Mom604 says:

    At first I did not think that Sherlock Holmes could pull off detecting in the 21st century, but he did. The BBC series is excellent.

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