Movie Review: Sherlock Holmes: A Game Of Shadows

So yesterday I say to my roommate something to the effect of, “Since you’re not doing anything tomorrow, what say we attend a cinematic projection feature at the local “big screen” shoppe?” To which he replied “Nay, for I wish only to see the second testament of Sir Author Conan Doyle’s most famous character.” To which I replied “perhaps it is playing tomorrow!”

Anyways, to make a long story short, we went to see a movie today.

Going to sese Sherlock Holmes: A Game Of Shadows was quite a departure from my usual habits, as I have somehow managed to not see the first movie as of yet. Luckily, I have seen the trailers, so I think I had a good enough idea of who the characters were to be able to see the sequel anyways. And it turned out for the best, as I don’t think I missed anything.

To put it to a single word, the movie is excellent. I was enthralled and entertained throughout the entire 120 or so minutes it ran for. The fight scenes were fun, the dialogue was witty throughout, and there were no plot holes that I noticed or anything that detracted from the movie.

One thing that I liked in particular was how Holmes’ powers of deduction were handled. After seeing it the first time, it was easy to tell when things were happening and when he was just deducing everything. I don’t know if that’s how things went in the first movie, but it was cool anyways.

Moving to a bit of a tangent, this movie brought up something that has been on and off my mind for quite some time; the glamour of villainy. Ever since I was old enough to tell the good guys from the bad guys, I have had a fascination with the bad guys. They were the ones with the cool outfits, the awesome looking powers, the bombastic speeches, the top secret bases, the freaky monstrous minions. Sometimes they are suave and intelligent, other times they are brutal and direct, but they do what they want, the heroes can’t stop them until the very end, and in most cases the villain just gets away or comes back later. They are axis around which their fictional world revolves, because nothing worth telling a story about would happen without them.

The problem with being a villain, however, is that the sheer arrogance and audacity that villainy takes pretty much precludes any possibility of being anything other than a cruel monster at heart. A villain may play at sophistication and may even have “rules”, but as soon as things don’t go their way they get nasty. A villain can have minions and sometimes even allies, but they are completely friendless; they might even think they have some up until a certain point, but you can’t have friends when you are willing to use intimidation and force to get your way. You can bully people into doing almost anything, but you can never force someone to like, love, or respect you. For that you need lies, but then all the people love and respect is their false impression of you, which can be shattered in an instant. Of course, if all you want in life is power and control over other people, then I guess that is fine for you, but I don’t think anyone can be very happy with that for long.

All of this is to say that I think the the main villain, Professor James Moriarty, was an excellent reminder of this principle. He’s very intelligent, well respected and wealthy, and at certain points you may even find yourself thinking “man he is COOL”, but soon enough you see that there is nothing admirable about him at all. Or any villain, really.

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One Response to Movie Review: Sherlock Holmes: A Game Of Shadows

  1. lolikitsune says:

    Great review, saw the film last night, and loved it. For many of the same reasons. The historical accuracy of the technology (military, medicine, transportation, etc.) was well-handled too.

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