UK Release date: 16th December 2011
Watched on Sky+ Sunday 30th December 2012.
PLEASE NOTE: THERE MAY BE SPOILERS IN THIS REVIEW.
I first saw this film about a year ago at the cinema and pretty much enjoyed it; as it appeared in the TV schedules this week I thought I’d give it a second look. All the elements that made the first film great are back again, more so in some cases, and it was great to see that Richie still hasn’t lost his eye for the visuals. I will give you more of my thoughts after this brief summary.
Countries in Europe are being brought to the brink of war due to a series of bombings that appear to be being perpetrated by extremists. The truth is, they are all the work of one man, Professor James Moriarty. It is clear that there is only one person who has the capability to stop him; Sherlock Holmes. Of course he drags Dr. Watson into it and manages to ruin his stag night in the process. The damsel in distress this time comes in the form of a gypsy fortune teller, Madam Simza Heron, whose brother has been incorporated into Moriarty’s plan. Sherlock’s brother, Mycroft Holmes also gets involved and that makes for some interesting times. The question is, can Holmes and Watson foil Moriarty’s plans? Well, as you can probably guess, those Spoiler Police with their fiendish disguises may well be in the room at this very moment, so I must be very careful not to say too much (again).
As we’ve come to expect, this film looks great, Guy Richie really knows his craft and all the tricks are in evidence here. Some really superb ‘bullet time’ effects and some great fight scenes are fast becoming Richie’s hallmark. A great soundtrack from Hans Zimmer also backs up the visuals perfectly. All the performances were great, in particular; Robert Downey Jr. as Sherlock Holmes and Jude Law as Dr, John Watson, both did a great job reprising the bromance that was so successful in the first film. Also worthy of note were; Noomi Rapace as Madam Simza Heron, Rachel McAdams as Irene Adler (all too brief though), Jared Harris as Professor James Moriarty, Stephen Fry as Mycroft Holmes, Paul Anderson as Colonel Sebastian Moran, Kelly Reilly as Mary Watson and Geraldine James as Mrs. Hudson.
Lots of action, a fair smattering of comedy and a thrilling plot go together to make up this film. Most of it works pretty well, however there is a bit of a weak link and that is the part of the story involving the character played by the, woefully underused, Noomi Rapace. I thought it was a little weak and didn’t quite have enough believability (for me). Having said that, the rest of the film was very thrilling and entertaining throughout with a great ending! Over all, I did enjoy this film a lot more than I thought I would at the beginning.
SteelMonster’s verdict: RECOMMENDED
My score: 7.7/10.
IMDb Score: 7.5/10 (based on 173,158 votes when this review was written).
MetaScore: 48/100: (Based on 38 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com at the time of going to press).
Rotten Tomatoes ‘Audience’ Score: 78/100 (based on 115,847 user ratings counted at the time of going to press).
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Professor Moriarty: Are you sure you want to play this game?
Sherlock Holmes: I'm afraid you'd lose.
Dr. John Watson: [seeing Holmes's drag outfit] What?
Sherlock Holmes: I agree it's not my best disguise.
Mycroft Holmes: [referring to Watson] You know, he's nothing like as slow witted as you've been leading me to believe, Sherly.
Sherlock Holmes: Uh, hmm... Right. Where are the wagons?
Madam Simza Heron: The wagon is too slow. Can't you ride?
Dr. John Watson: It's not that he can't ride... How is it you put it, hon?
Sherlock Holmes: They're dangerous at both ends and... crafty in the middle. Why would I want anything with a mind of its own bobbing about between my legs?