While artsier or “Oscar bait” flicks tend to flood theaters near the end of any year, there’s always room for some good cinematic roller coaster rides. December 2011 will be no different, seeing how we have two high-octane sequels due to hit the scene: Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol and Guy Ritchie’s Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows.
The previously-released Game of Shadows teaser trailer went the customary route of selling the sequel as being bigger, badder, and featuring even more risque humor or quips than its popular predecessor. Now we have a full-blown preview for the Sherlock Holmes followup… and it basically takes the same approach.
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle literary purists may have blanched in horror at Ritchie’s first “updated” take on Holmes, but the majority of moviegoers seem to agree: it’s an energetically-paced Victorian-era period mystery/adventure that mixed in set pieces on a par with the first Pirates of the Caribbean movie. However, just like the Pirates sequels arguably crossed over from being good hammy fun to becoming a bit too bombastic in style and scope, there’s reason to be concerned that A Game of Shadows might follow a similar path.
This second trailer for Sherlock Holmes 2 is pretty rapid-fire and overblown in style (ie. lots of slow-mo action, explosions, and sly one-liners) – and that’s (naturally) also part of its appeal. It’s hard to say for certain whether or not the final product looks to go overboard, but honestly? A Game of Shadows should (hopefully) still make for enjoyably ridiculous entertainment, even if it does.
With all that said – here is an official synopsis for Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows:
When the Crown Prince of Austria is found dead, the evidence, as construed by Inspector Lestrade (Eddie Marsan), points to suicide. But Sherlock Holmes (Robert Downey Jr.) deduces that the prince has been the victim of murder—a murder that is only one piece of a larger and much more portentous puzzle, designed by Professor Moriarty (Jared Harris). The cunning Moriarty is always one step ahead of Holmes as he spins a web of death and destruction—all part of a greater plan that, if he succeeds, will change the course of history.
Now check out the new A Game of Shadows trailer below:
All in all, the cast of A Game of Shadows looks pretty great. Besides the still-amusing rapport between Downey Jr. as Holmes and Jude Law as Dr. John Watson, Noomi Rapace (the Swedish Girl With the Dragon Tattoo) looks to be having fun as the Gypsy Sim, and Harris (Mad Men) has a fittingly quiet, yet sinister presence as the diabolical Moriarty. We also get a glimpse here at Rachel McAdams, who should do well again as the spirited Irene Adler – though, it appears that comedy great Stephen Fry as Mycroft Holmes is being saved for the actual movie.
A Game of Shadows was scripted by Kieran and Michele Mulroney (Paper Man) and they appear to have crafted a fairly engaging plot that is (appropriately) darker and more expansive than that in the first Sherlock Holmes. Ritchie’s directing style looks to be identical to that in the first film - so those who were bothered by it before probably won’t like it here, either. Fortunately, for the sequel, the masses (us included) don’t fall into that category.
Sandy Schaefer blogs at Screen Rant.