How can the Times Square AMC theatre NOT show Sherlock Holmes: Game of Shadows on its opening day? Just more evidence that New York City is not the hummer on a stick everyone makes it out to be sometimes. It really threw off my plan of watching three movies on Friday. The original triumvirate would have been Sherlock, Young Adult, and maybe something I’d be bound to hate like The Chipmunks or New Year’s Eve. Instead, I went to Lincoln Center, saw Holmes and rewatched The Muppets, which is every bit as awesome upon second viewing.
First of all, four things stand out in Game of Shadows:
1. Judd Law (Watson) and Robery Downey Jr (Holmes) have some of the best chemistry I can ever remember from a pair of high profile actors sharing the spotlight. Watson and Holmes have this Odd Couple relationship of banter and venom that would have Felix and Oscar taking notes. It’s bo9th, endearing, and feels very real. These guys are platonic soul mates.
2. “Bullet time,” or whatever its proper designation is, finds usefulness in a couple ways throughout the movie. The viewer gets to see Holmes dissect a moment in time in what seems like a hundredth of the time it would take the average person to capture visual imagery and ascertain its meaning. Jumping into Sherlock’s head throughout the film breaks up the events nicely. When Moriarty does the same thing, it hammers home the point that, yes, these men are equals in every way. The slow motion/fast-forward/slow motion trick also slows otherwise epilepsy-inducing action scenes to a manageable pace, and lends an air of gravitas to the situation, particularly when our heroes are being bombarded by a spray of bullets through the woods of… I don’t know, maybe France. I dozed off for minute because I have narcolepsy.
3. Noomi Rapace, who plays gypsy girl Madam Simza, has an oddly serpentine look about her facial features. I’m not sure what it is, but its something about the ortions of her nose and eyes. And no, the odd part is not that she looks serpentine – I’ve seen girls that look like birds, apes, watermelons, all sorts of animals – it’s that she’s is so damn attractive. Maybe that’s my love for G.I. Joe shining through. Anyway, if the Swedish actress’s name means nothing to you, you may find her familiar from Netflix and her run as Lisbeth in the original Girl with the Dragon Tattooseries. Either way, she plays a not-so-distressed damsel.
4. Moriarty, Holmes’ nemesis, is played by Jared Harris, who I only know as Mac McGrath, the scumbag TV tabloid host from Mr. Deeds. Every now and then, that one thing distracted me as I thought, Holmes is going toe-to-toe with a guy from an Adam Sandler movie…
I could see this franchise rival the Bonds, Bournes or Mission Impossibles of the world one day, because as it stands, they are two-for-two in releasing engaging fun movies.
What we have here is a blockbuster not unlike the current incarnation of Lucky Charms cereal. You expect a lot of marshmallows (explosions, witty dialogue, mindless violence and action), but you know what else you’re getting? Whole grain, calcium, Vitamin D, and 2 grams each of protein and fiber. In movie terms, that equals an engaging plot, reason for multiple viewings, and probable cause to purchase the Blu-Ray.
Game of Shadows Preview: