A suitable sleuth
Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows
Direction: Guy Ritchie
Actors: Robert Downey Jr., Jr Jude Law
He has loomed large in the viewers’ imagination for over a century. Two years ago, British filmmaker Guy Ritchie showcased the fictional London sleuth in a revisionist spin which raked in mega-bucks at the box office.
While it hardly covers any new ground, the inevitable sequel delivers a relentlessly kinetic romp. Circa 1891, a sinister super-villain (Jared Harris) aims to ignite a world war.
Not to worry, though. The titular detective (Downey Jr.) and his loyal assistant Dr Watson (Law) are determined to defuse the latest crisis. Exercising his deductive prowess, Holmes faces off with his adversary in a fateful finale on the brink of a waterfall in Switzerland.
The narrative unfolds at a breathless pace. Through the comic-bookish shebang, Holmes dons disguises, dodges bullets and mortar shells and even sabotages his sidekick’s nuptials.
Returning director Ritchie displays a flair for high comedy, as is evident in the ceaseless banter between the two daredevils. He also employs a whole bag of stylistic flourishes for the high-octane action set pieces.
Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law reprise their roles with maniacal glee. Swedish newcomer Noomi Rapace lacks sparkle, though, as the gypsy fortune teller. In the part of Holmes’s older brother, Stephen Fry is rudely funny.
High-spirited and even noisier than its predecessor, Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows makes for jubilant viewing.