Returning to his directing post, Guy Ritchie controls the reins for the second outing, guiding Robert Downey Jr, Jude Law, Noomi Rapace, Jared Harris, Stephen Fry and Rachel McAdams in the second outing. This time going head to head with the evil genius Moriarty who we see for the first time as previously we have only heard his voice or seen his body but not his face.
The problem with any sequel is to attempt to make it firstly as good as the first film was, secondly to still bring new things to the table and keep that fresh air running throughout. Tricky in this situation as the first one was just fantastic on so many levels, this time the boys can relax and get more into their characters.
As expected the chemistry between Downey and Law is still there and is even stronger than before, If they flirted with the idea of the these two men having feeling for each other in the first , this time they flaunt it in front of us. Particularly in the train scenes.
The plot it’s self is hard to get your head around, which is typical of a Holmes film however the first 5 minutes involving gathering seeds and various objects never really gets explained.
What is nice to see if how a lot of the way things were done in the first have survived the chopping board and are here for us to see again, even if the style has changed slightly. I am referring to the scenes where we go into Holmes’s mind and see how he intends to fight various men, however one thing this lacked which I was disappointed with, is Holmes does not say it quite how he said it in the first. For me this takes away part of the interest and joy from these scenes, though they are very good. Indeed you can feel Downey and Law have relaxed more into these roles as they are stronger and getting more how you would see them in your minds after reading the books.
As far as the comedy goes there are a couple of scenes with Law and Downey where it would not have worked if they did not have some connection to each other , but as they do its hilarious.
Rachel McAdams seems to have got a rough deal this time around, I wont spoil it by saying why or how simply that there seems little point in her being there at all.
Noomi Rapace plays a gypsy queen by the look of it, she does play it well, however nearly all your attention is on the guys, not because she is bad but because they are so good. Also did not feel like she had much depth to her character, Indeed it felt like one note was being played for her the whole time which is a shame.
Stephen Fry as Mycroft was just perfect casting, he works very well with Downey throughout and is a joy to watch. Only wish we had seen more of him.
Moriarty himself was good in this, not quite as good as I had hoped. Though tricky role to play after everyone has seen the BBC version and been amazed by that adaptions of the character. However he does play the role, his scene near the end of the film is fantastic with Downey.
As far the set goes its excellent, particularly when ever they are in the woods and running, no doubt you will have seen the trailer and know what I am referring to , however there is so much more to that scene such as how it is filmed, the angles the speed, the direction. Amazing to watch and made your crave even more of it.
Though this is a very good sequel it’s not quite as good as the first, it’s missing a certain flare that the first one produced. Though as a stand alone film it’s excellent.
OVERALL*** The first one was a four star in my mind so this should be a three, Highly recommended even if you havent seen the first. It’s a joy to watch and actually makes you sit up and pay attention.