Sherlock Holmes, A Game of Shadows - 7/10
(Decent action movie, but hard to follow, and borderline exhausting camera tricks)
Lets put this up front: I did not see the first movie, and I was not enthusiastic about seeing the second one. A good friend of mine wanted to drag me to this movie before, because he really liked the first one. But thanks to a majority vote back then, we didn't go. This time around, I was outnumbered, and said "what the hell, lets go see it". I gathered up a bit of fake enthusiasm, but I think my friend knew damn well that I wasn't over-excited to see this flick. What follows is a funny anecdote completely unrelated to the movie itself:
SpoilerOn the way to the theater, we ran into a man struggling to get a snackcart loaded off a trailer. He had some rails set up, but the cart was too long, with only wheels on both ends and none in the middle. Also, one of the wheels was broken. So you can guess how that goes, trying to push a way too long cart off a trailer, across diagonally placed rails. It means the cart gets stuck somewhere in the middle. So kind folks as we were, we offered to lend the poor man a hand. The thing was incredibly heavy, but with our combined forces we managed to get the thing unloaded. After our good deed, the man thanked us by promising us free snacks after our visit to the movie, which is exactly what we got. That was our good deed for the day. :)
We had not the best of seats, slightly off to the side, and a bit too close the the screen to my liking. But it could have been worse. And then it got worse, we were treated to a trailer to Adam Sandlers Jack and Jill. Which is, as Brocks Dub put it "the most unnecessary movie ever made!". If you are one of those viewers that can gather up a few chuckles for that trailer, you might be on par with my friend. But I was screaming at the screen, and my friends were reminding me about Batman and Robin and enjoying the hell out of my torment. This is the most god awful movie ever made, and thats just going by the trailer. I was begging my friends for razers so I could cut my wrists and not sit through the trailer. And I f%&$#g hate Adam Sandler!
Okay, so what about Sherlock Holmes? It is really fast paced, and really loud. The opening explosion nearly blew a couple of 13 year old girls off their seats next to me, yes they were really startled. I got a good chuckle out of that. But the movie is really fast and loud in general. During the action scenes it is really hard to keep track of what is happening, and the slowmotion scenes are exploited to death, to a point where it starts to get annoying. Apparently Holmes is a psychic with super powers, who can instantly gather all the details from his surroundings in a blink of an eye. That part is actually fun, but the way it is shot becomes very exhausting. And there are various scenes where the movie simply broke my suspension of disbelief. I can take for granted that Holmes is a briljant man, with great improvisation skills, but there are some situations which he couldn't possibly figure out: Like a scene where he figures out that there is a secret door behind a wall, based on the way the cellar looks. That just didn't make any sense.
There also is a lot of bromance in this movie, and what is up with that? They are really playing the queer angle a lot in this movie, especially with Holmes dressing up as a woman and lying on top of Watson. I don't know where they were going with this movie, and a lot of times, it seemed the director didn't know either. Everything is just so fast paced, it is hard to keep track of the story. Constantly I tried to remind myself: "Why are they here again?" "What are they after?" "Where are they going now?", and often I didn't knew the answer, it just all moves too fast.
But, I really did enjoy the clever dialogues, and some of the humour. Watson has a few good scenes as well, one in particular which was pretty hilarious near the end. I also liked the way the movie looked in general, they did a decent enough job in trying to establish the time period.
But the movie has a lot of problems. I'm told its not as good as the first movie, I'll assume they are right. There is way too much slow motion abuse, making a lot of action scenes look like a music video. There is not much suspense, and the villain isn't really menacing. Granted, the villain does get a few excellent dialogues, and he is a good villain. But he's not very menacing. The ending wasn't very spectacular, the best parts are in the middle, but I did like the clue near the end. Overall, the movie is very forgettable.
Final verdict: It is a decent action movie, and you'll be entertained. But it's not very good. Minor spoiler regarding the ending:
Will there be a third movie, now that Holmes' greatest adversary has been defeated? How do you top that?