A for entertainment! Better than I expected, definitely better than I feared, and 1000% gayer
than I expected which is saying a lot considering the first one. Disclaimer: if I was 10x more likely to be kindly disposed towards a paean to the sweeping love of Professor X and Magneto
, I was and am about 100x more likely to be kindly disposed towards a paean to the sweeping love of Sherlock Holmes and John Watson. Which Guy Ritchie's Sherlock Holmes movies are turning out to be. Like, even more so than the vein of Holmes-themed adaptations in general -- that movie was more than bromantic, it was romantic
. Even Jude Law knows it.
Aside from that, though, A Game of Shadows
was a straight-up entertaining film that rolled along fast enough to make me forgive its inconsistencies and thinner plot elements. The main weaknesses in plot were some individual clues in the mystery that didn't make sense, the lack of attention our scruffy heroes drew to themselves, and the way they wrote out Irene Adler -- which in itself, frankly, did not bother me, as every additional minute Rachel McAdams has spent in these movies has caused me a small degree of physical pain, but the plot point itself was weak. Pretty much everything else came rolled-up in the genre of steampunk action-adventure, but I suspect anyone who didn't want to see a steampunk action-adventure movie would not have come to see this film in the first place.
It was fun! Really fun. And funny
, which was the important thing -- there was a lot of amazing stuff in the way of line delivery, reaction shots (esp. from Jude Law), and straight-up visual humor, which kept the whole thing from being tiresomely taken-too-seriously despite having a somewhat more serious tone than the first film. The franchise is making a solid choice in capitalizing on the fact that RDJ is an actor with a high charisma score and an exceptional level of cuteness
, and lets him look unreasonable and cute more often than levelheaded and charming. Noomi Rapace and Jared Harris were good enough in their roles, but their Sebastian Moran was surprisingly cool (and, uh, dedicated to Moriarty), which I was happy about considering too many Holmes adaptations totally waste Moran in the first place.
My favorite thing about the Ritchie Holmes franchise is and continues to be Jude Law's John Watson. The rest of it is basically just bouncy and entertaining -- he's genuinely solid and serious in the role and lends the only real emotional heft to the films via his relationship with his frustrating Manic Pixie Dream Genius boyfriend. I think he's an exception in this case to the general idea that a handsomer actor will be less talented and less suited to an important role: he carries what's an otherwise silly and adrenaline-fueled story to being something you can bring yourself to invest in, and
he's dead sexy. I will pretty much watch anything with Law!Watson in.
And RDJ looks pretty cute in lipstick.ETA
: AS relia
SO KINDLY REMINDED ME, SORRY SORRY STEPHEN FRY: MYCROFT! MYCROFT MYCROFT MYCROFT!