Rating: 4.5/ 5
Summary: Sherlock Holmes (Robert Downey Jr.) must face the greatest challenge of his life; thwarting the ambitions of the ruthless Professor James Moriarty (Jared Harris). To do so he must persuade his friend and companion Dr. John Watson (Jude Law) to come out of retirement. Together they will risk everything to stop Europe’s most brilliant criminal.
Review: Sherlock Holmes is always a popular literary and cinematic figure, and all too often the results have failed to meet my expectations. Downey Jr., Harris, and Law deliver strong performances as the lead characters. The supporting cast is also very strong, but Stephen Fry’s role as Mycroft Holmes is particularly exceptional. The story is also strong, with plenty of twists and turns that manage not to lose the viewer. The cinematography is strong, and though this is the second film in a series it stands well on its own. The final win for me was the relationship between Holmes and Watson in the film. The viewer is left in no doubt about the brilliance of Holmes, but there is equally no doubt that the films’ Watson represents an integral part of a team rather than the too often seen lackey or sidekick. The result is an incredibly fun mystery thriller, in my opinion better than the film that it follows.
More Like This: While it does stand-alone well, the first Sherlock Holmes directed by Guy Richie, is still worth a peek. If you have time, you do get more from watching them in order. For those looking for the original stories, the Lake Bluff Public Library has the Adventures and Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes in the Adult Fiction collection. For a more modern spin for mystery readers, I have found Laurie R. King’s long running Mary Russell series to be my favorite among the ever growing number of spin off series. The Beekeeper’s Apprentice is the first book in the series.
Availability: This film is available at the Lake Bluff Public Library in Blu-ray format.
Reviewed by: Eric