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Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows

by on June 10, 2012
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Being a reprint from the journals of JOHN H.

WATSON, M.D., late of the Army Medical Department.

In the year 2011, I found myself quite bewildered by the stories surrounding myself and my dear friend, Sherlock Holmes. Over the years, we have grown accustomed to seeing our adventures interpreted by different actors in peculiar forms. Sherlock found the incarnation involving the cartooned mice to be quite amusing, but I say otherwise. Typically I refrain from comment because once I have reported our tales, I feel my task has been completed.

Yet it was Sherlock himself who pushed the parchment into my hand in this matter. Persons in town were jovial with him by saying statements like “I saw you traded your deerstalker for a dress, Mr. Holmes.” They were referring to the most recent cinematic endeavor starring the Mr. Robert Downey Jr. of New York. When Mr. Downey Jr. last played the role, I was tickled by the large amount of destruction that surrounded the mystery. I would never deny the claim that Sherlock and I create a fuss when concocting our investigations but even during my years in the service I have never been a part of that scale of urban annihilation.

With this tale, this “Game of Shadows,” Mr. Downey Jr. and Mr. Jude Law — in a fetching and violent depiction of myself — I fear they have found more buildings to obliterate into dust. While this act of electronic artistry may find admirers, I found myself lost in my own distracting thoughts. My attention was perked when I heard my name being spoken on the screen, but beyond that I forgot this was supposed to be an adventure featured Sherlock Holmes and myself.

While I don’t have the perception as my colleague, I do not recall seeing a mystery to be solved. It is without doubt that Mr. Jared Harris had the atmosphere of the sinister Professor Moriarty properly mimicked, but there was never a replication of his mind. Too often I feel that Sherlock Holmes is too clever, but after this film I have a new value of that side of the spectrum as opposed to not clever at all. Sherlock startles all he encounters by showing them a hidden revelation that has been hidden in plain sight. Director Guy Ritchie only shows you the puzzle after Mr. Downey Jr. appears to have solved it, which is not a puzzle at all. The Sherlock Holmes I admire has an unprecedented level of intelligence; this is just a man who engages in the art of solving crimes so he can maintain up his boxing skills.

I have no intention to be seen as ungrateful to those talented individuals who have retold our tales in a new light. Sherlock has difficulty admitting it, but the recent stories from the British Broadcast Company have been exquisite. Mr. Benedict Cumberbatch is the only version of Sherlock Holmes that has made Sherlock himself feel like he has a new challenger of wits. The precision and entertainment that went into its second series rivals — and conquers — every second of “Game of Shadows.” Especially Mr. Martin Freeman inhabiting the role of myself. It is refreshing not to see me as a bumbling fool or a sidekick that is only present to ask frivolous questions.

I suspect this will not be the last time Mr. Law will be seen in the cinema as my doppelganger. I do believe this is the last time I shall be traveling to see him. I am now devoting too much of my time to my anxiety regarding the BBC cliffhanger. Was there ever a moment in my life where I was left this bewildered about the fate of my dear friend? Oh yes, there was that one horrible encounter in Switzerland …

Film: 1.5 Yaps
Extras: 3 Yaps