Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows, dir. Guy Ritchie, wr. Kieran Mulroney, Michele Mulroney, st. Robert Downey, Jr., Jude Law, Noomi Rapace, Jared Harris, Stephen Fry, Kelly Reilly, Rachel McAdams

The intervening time between Ritchie's 2009 first outing for Holmes and this second chapter has seen the critically acclaimed BBC effort with Benedict Cumberbatch (allegedly playing a Khan-like villain in the upcoming Star Trek sequel) receive plaudits and recognition worldwide. A CBS coat-tail rider Elementary with Johnny Lee Miller and Lucy Liu as, lord help us, Joan Watson airs this Winter. More than anything, the BBC show has shown us we are more than able to produce great TV to trouble the likes of HBO's output. Ritchie's film is hardly a vast departure from the predecessor, that is to say, it's as an enjoyably flighty good-going romp as it ever was. Once again Downey Jr. channels his inner Stark to give zip to Holmes' cheeky roguery, but it's a far throw from Cumberbatch's aspergered loner, or even Basil Rathbone's austere interpretation. Which one you prefer is very much like choosing a favourite Bond. There's precious little Noomi Rapace though, and Law's as limp as ever. Jared Harris as Moriarty, currently seen as the bumbling Lane Pryce in AMC's Mad Men, provides some elevation, but doesn't hold a candle to the BBC's Andrew Scott, a heady tangle of psychotic super-intellect.