Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBB. USA, 2011. Warner Bros., Village Roadshow Pictures, Silver Pictures, Wigram Productions, Lin Pictures. Screenplay by Michele Mulroney, Kieran Mulroney, based on characters created by Arthur Conan Doyle. Cinematography by Philippe Rousselot. Produced by Susan Downey, Dan Lin, Joel Silver, Lionel Wigram. Music by Hans Zimmer. Production Design by Sarah Greenwood. Costume Design by Jenny Beavan. Film Editing by James Herbert.
The crimefighting duo are back once again for some good, violently dirty fun, and this installment measures up in comedy and action with the wonderful original. Jude Law‘s Watson is on the eve of marrying his beautiful bride Kelly Reilly when Robert Downey Jr‘s incorrigible Holmes drags him once again into a bit of intrigue. It seems that there are bombs going off and people being killed all over Europe, and our heroes are the only ones who can do something about it because they know that Holmes’ arch-nemesis Moriarty (a deliciously evil Jared Harris) is behind it all. To catch him, however, they will have to traipse about the continent with a clever and resourceful gypsy (Noomi Rapace, who is wonderful), deal with Holmes’ snooty older brother Mycroft (a droll Stephen Fry) and navigate a fair share of sticky situations before a great climax at a political summit in a mountaintop castle (apparently the same one where Bram Stoker’s Dracula once lived). The plot is a shambles, especially when compared to the last chapter, but it never seems to matter; director Guy Ritchie injects so much energy, style and wit into every scene that it carries you along quite easily without ever allowing you to observe its ragged narrative. Downey and Law still have terrific chemistry, hilariously making a sexless gay romance out of the most famous working relationship in all literature, while the technical effects make it a rich visual treat to back up its brainier delights.