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Sherlock Holmes

I liked this movie better than the first one.  The first film had a terrible script that was badly structured.  By the time you found out the nefarious plot — in act three so you didn’t give a f**k because you had never met any members of Parliament so it was fine if Moriarity blew them up.  There were also two of the worst actresses in Christendom in that film.  Rachel McAdames as Irene Adler and Kelly Reilly as Mary Morstan (fiancee of Dr. Watson).

THERE ARE GOING TO BE SPOILERS NOW!!!!!!  WARNING WILL ROBINSON!!!!

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Because Moriarty was threatening Watson and his new wife there was emotional tension unlike the unknown parliamentarians.  There was a nice building of stakes and tension as we progressed through the film.  Jude Law continues to delight as Watson.  Downey Jr. is so manic that it times he becomes difficult to watch.  This is not the “machine of intellect” that I think of as Holmes.  It’s fun, it’s certainly energetic, but sometimes it all becomes a bit too much.

I was thrilled and nearly cheered when Adler died early on in the movie so she and her annoying American accent would go away.

Stephen Fry is just great as Mycroft Holmes.  The drippy woman playing Mary Watson seemed better in this film.  Probably because most of her scenes are played with Fry and he can make anyone look good.   

There are points where the script is skating fast and hand waving frantically to make it all seem like it ties together, but it was a fun ride so I forgave the lapses. They did try to set up and pay off Holmes observations, and they did it pretty well.  I didn’t feel like plot points were being pulled out of the writer’s asses. 

There was this sense that foiling Moriarty’s Big Plot really didn’t accomplish a damn thing since a big world war was going to break out in 23 years, but there was at least the sense that Holmes had saved his friend.

There was a nice use of Holmes planning every step and realizing that the Professor is doing the same thing and the result will be stalemate, so Holmes does something crazy and unexpected.  My companion said it would have been nice if the two men’s chess game had also ended with a stalemate rather than Holmes “winning”.  That would have been a nice echo of the ultimate solution.

Guy Ritchie is visually interesting director.  He uses slow motion in a way that doesn’t make me want to giggle.  The fight sequences are exciting and interesting, and you can actually see most of what happens.  He also captured the look of the late nineteenth century beautifully.  There’s a little film buff joke near the end when the Professor flips through a book creating an animated cartoon.  I liked that.

The Hans Zimmer score is terrific.  I liked it in the first movie and it’s even more powerful and symphonic in this film.  It’s been a long time since I’ve bought the soundtrack to a movie, but this one could tempt me.

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