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Friday, December 23, 2011


What did you do last weekend? Christmas shopping? I hope you had as much fun as I did . I  went to Rome with my husband and we had a pleasant evening, only we were more trying to avoid the Christmas shopping crowd than joining them. So, we hid inside a ...cinema!
Avoiding the shopping crowd was not our only aim. We had seen the first Guy Ritchie's Sherlock Holmes 2009 film  (my review) - we had liked it a lot - so we didn't want to miss the second one: Sherlock Holmes, A Game of Shadows. 
The worst of Victorian London is on screen from the first moments:  its smell of dirt and alcohol, the misty nights and the fights. If you've seen Holmes/ Downey Jr in the first film, you know he is not a bit the dusty, stiff, prim detective of the tradition, wearing a deerstalker and a trench coat, but a cool action hero, a smart dandy, free and easy, irresistible and unbeatable.  Either you love him or you hate him but seen the figures of the success of the  first installment, it seems very difficult to resist him!

Think of Watson! How hard he tries to avoid Sherlock and the dangerous life he represents? How stubbornly he rejects his asking for favours and tries instead to focus on his imminent wedding with Mary? But can he resist his friend's call? No, not at all. So, after an adventurous bachelor party spent with Holmes (investigating more than celebrating his friend) in a dubious local, he gets to the church on his wedding day like Petruchio in The Taming of the Shrew: dirty, scratched, with a torn suit and completely drunk.
In this second movie Robert Downey Jr. has been joined again by Jude Law as Watson (how good he is since he left the role of the hansome bloke! not that he has become ugly but ... ok, you know what I mean),  Kelly Reilly as romantic Mary Morstan , Watson's betrothed ( I can't remove her snobbish smirk in her previous roles from my memory and simply see her as the sweet heroine she should be here) , and  Rachel MacAdams,  as tough Irene Adler (in a very reduced role, this time). But there are great new names and characters like an always brilliant Stephen Fry as Mycroft Holmes, Sherlock's brother (great humour and ...an  elegant nearly-full-frontal naked scene! Poor Mary was shocked and he was impassible), or  Noomi Rapace,  as the gipsy sexy beauty Sim.

Intrigue, adventure and mystery grow in "A Game of Shadow" with the arrival of Holmes's super nemesis, his dark alter ego: Professor Moriarty (Jared Harris).
Sherlock suspects Moriarty of killing the Austrian Prince: Moriarty's ambition is to make the world need his new mass production of weapons  and plots to lead the world on the brink of a new war. To stop him, Sherlock is ready to risk his life, but not those of his friends. So, to defend Watson and his newly married wife, Mary, he even disguises himself as a woman, throws his friend's wife into a river from a moving train and much, much more.

Comedy, action, rhythm,  irony, beautiful costumes and excellent photography, CGI and special effects made this classic adventure appealing to a vast contemporary audience: from teenagers and young people whose tastes have been spoilt by videogames, digital images and action-movie superheroes to more mature fans of the smart, cerebral detective.
I love this new Sherlock, who is great at kung fu, climbs, jumps, dives like a Marvel superhero, who is almost moved to tears on his best friend's wedding day, who practises mimicing his surroundings but who,  even in scratches, dirt and  blood  never loses his English aplomb. I joined the rest of the audience clapping their hands when the final twist made all of us enthusiastic!

By the way, I'm revising BBC Sherlock series 1 on Italian TV (every Thursday, 9 p.m. on Italia 1) before watching the new series starting on BBC1 on January 1, 2012. I like the new TV Sherlock (Benedict Cumberbatch) and his Mr Watson (Martin Freeman) , too. 

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