Director: Guy Ritchie
Whilst Guy Ritchie’s take on the works of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle have infuriated some purists (“Sherlock Holmes as a James Bond like action hero? Sacrilege!”), it has to be said that Robert Downey Jr. gave an engaging take on the detective (and was much closer to the original character than some gave him credit for). And whilst Ritchie’s love for slow-motion and generally being over-the-top was tiresome at points, the first Sherlock Holmes film was a fun and enjoyable affair that struck a chord with audiences. Unsurprisingly, the sequel doesn’t do much to change the formula.
Sherlock Holmes finds himself in a battle of wits with criminal genius Professor Moriarty (Jared Harris, who makes a fine job of radiating understated evil) whose mysterious plans threaten the whole world. Reunited with the recently married Dr. Watson (Jude Law, who is clearly having fun), Holmes travels across the world to discover the link between terrorist bombings, missing gypsies and a psychopathic crackshot. With the beautiful Simza (Noomi Rapace, who is not given that much to do) by their side, the duo of Holmes and Watson must use their brains – and occasionally their fists – to save the world.
Whilst the story is undoubtedly silly, the film rolls along with such an enormous energy and charm that you’ll be prepared to forgive some of its greater excesses. The performances are likeable while some of the set-pieces (such as the battle on the moving train) are undoubtedly impressive and there’s a nice vein of tongue-in-cheek humor that makes sure nothing becomes too serious.
At two hours plus the film does drag slightly and – again – it would be nice if Ritchie decided against using slo-mo every thirty seconds. But this is still enormous fun and there will undoubtedly by a third part in the franchise very soon…