Movie Mom

Movie Mom


Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for intense sequence of violence and action and some drug material
Profanity:None
Nudity/Sex:Some sexual references and homo-erotic humor
Alcohol/Drugs:Drinking, smoking, drug references
Violence/Scariness:Constant action-style peril and violence, bombs, guns, chases, explosions, characters injured and killed, suicide, torture
Diversity Issues:None
Movie Release Date:December 16, 2011
DVD Release Date:June 12, 2012

All Sherlockians know that the only villain who could match the most famous and celebrated of all fictional detectives is the fiendish Professor Moriarty.  As we were promised in the postscript to the first Sherlock Holmes movie from Guy Ritchie, Robert Downey, Jr., and Jude Law, this sequel pits the two masterminds against each other in a match to the death.

Watson is about to get married and this produces two responses in Holmes.  He feels abandoned and is jealous of Watson’s fiancée.  This emotion is mostly childish and narcissistic but, as in the first film, there is a frisson of homoeroticism as well.  But he does have moments of generosity and concern for others.  He fears that their association will put Watson and his new wife at risk.  In one of the high-octane film’s best and quietest moments, he visits Moriarty (played by Jared Harris, son of Richard Harris of “Camelot” and the original Dumbledore in the first Harry Potter movies) to ask whether they can agree to let Watson be free of any entanglement in the unpleasantness ahead.  But Moriarty does not play by any rules, which is what makes him so dangerous.

There are silly disguises and wild stunts.  We meet Sherlock’s brother Mycroft (Stephen Fry) — in the books a brilliant recluse, even more eccentric than his violin-playing detective sibling but here a rather foppish quasi-diplomat who calls his younger brother “Sherley” and walks around his home in the nude despite the presence of a young lady.  There is a brief appearance by Rachel McAdams as Irene Adler (“To Sherlock Holmes she is always the woman,” says Watson in “A Scandal in Bohemia”).  Noomi Rapace from the Swedish “Girl with a Dragon Tattoo” series is criminally underused as a gypsy woman trying to find her brother.  Director Guy Ritchie makes the most of the steampunk sensibility by matching analog gears with camera tricks that hyper-rewind and tricked-up slo-mo to show us Holmes’ observations and analysis.  He also draws some parallels to our time.  Anarchists were the terrorists of that era, technology was making possible more devastating destruction, national borders were dissolving, and, as always, money is the great motivator.  “Though politics may divide us, business will unite us,” says a character.

“Come at once if convenient,” Holmes says in a note to Watson.  “If inconvenient, come all the same.”  As we see in the meeting with Moriarty, this is an era on the cusp, the first World War just over 20 years in the future, and Holmes knows that Moriarty is not the only one who will not be willing to abide by a playing fields of Eton-style veneer of gentility.  Like the first film, what holds our interest is Downey, whose vision of Holmes, if not what Conan Doyle had in mind, is arresting.  Today he might be diagnosed as having sensory integration or autism spectrum issues.  “What do you see?” the gypsy woman asks Holmes. “Everything.  That is my curse.”

 

 

Parents should know that this film includes constant action violence with chases, guns, bombs, poison, and explosions, characters injured and killed, a suicide, some graphic images, brief nudity (male rear), some sexual references and rude humor, drinking, smoking, drugs

Family discussion: What parallels are there between the international politics of the era portrayed and the present day?  Do you agree with Watson that Holmes is wise?  How does this differ from other portrayals of Holmes?

If you like this, try: the first film and some of the other screen portrayals of Sherlock Holmes like The Seven Percent Solution and the Jeremy Brett television series.

 



  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Sally

    I would say middle schoolers could see this one. Great fun movie!

Previous Posts

Is This the End of Television?
Last week both cable giant HBO and broadcast giant CBS made announcements that signal the end of television as we know it.  Both responded to the clear message of the market and said that they would make their content available in the form and via the delivery system consumers prefer -- the interne

posted 3:24:08pm Oct. 22, 2014 | read full post »

Dylan Baker on Directing for the First Time in the Fact-Based High School Football Movie "23 Blast"
Dylan Baker is probably best remembered for playing some of the most horrific villains imaginable ("The Good Wife," "Happiness").  But his extensive career has included wild comedies ("Planes, Trains, and Automobiles," "Anchorman 2"), historical drama (he was Robert McNamara in "13 Days"), and even

posted 8:00:11am Oct. 22, 2014 | read full post »

Best Movies About Writers
Flavorwire has put together a great list of the 50 best movies about writers. It's always tricky to make a writer interesting on film. On one hand, you have the advantage of a character who is likely to be witty and eloquent. Movies are written by writers, so they have some insight and appreciatio

posted 3:37:07pm Oct. 21, 2014 | read full post »

Great News About Now You See Me 2
You didn't think Arthur Tressler was going to let them get away with it, did you? I am very happy that one of the most entertaining films of 2013, Now You See Me is getting a sequel and the stars, including Mark Ruffalo, Jesse Eisenberg, Dave Franco, Michael Caine, and Woody Harrelson, are back, alo

posted 8:00:59am Oct. 21, 2014 | read full post »

In the Footsteps of St. Peter
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l4c7qh9hMVY[/youtube] David Suchet (PBS' Hercule Poirot) is the host of In the Footsteps of St. Peter, out tomorrow on DVD.

posted 3:55:57pm Oct. 20, 2014 | read full post »




Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.