A gun in his hand. A gun in his hand. When looking at the poster for "Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows" the first thing you have to ask, as you did with the entire movie of the first entry, is why?
Why do you bother going back to a certifiable legendary character for your contemporary cinematic adaptation when you have absolutely no interest in preserving the essence of that character? The first minute that problems arose over the potential for a new big screen Sherlock Holmes series of movies came when it was announced that Robert Downey, Jr. would be taking on the role of Holmes and Jude Law would be playing Watson. Even if that you wanted that particular duo, why on earth would you want to waste Jude Law as Holmes when he would so obviously make a great Sherlock?
The movie was, as predicted, a total disaster. The very act of watching Robert Downey, Jr. playing the writer's vision of Holmes is enough to make you want to pour acid into your eyes to erase it from your vision and to listen to Sarah Palin and Glenn Beck teach history in order to rot your brain enough to extricate the entire memory of the movie.
For reasons that only a studio executive could possibly justify, it was felt that a sequel had to be made to "Sherlock Holmes." The only possible reason is that 99% of those who went to see the first movie could not distinguish Sherlock Holmes from Indiana Jones. How else to explain how the film made a dollar? No real Sherlock Holmes could have possibly made it through the credits.
He's got a gun in his hand in the poster. One look at the poster for "Sherlock Holmes: Game of Shadows" tells you all you need to know about the concept behind this alleged update of the Holmes canon. Nothing at all is wrong with updating Sherlock or approaching him from a unique perspective, as the TV series "Sherlock" proved. But that TV series also proved that if you are going to bother to utilize an existing legendary character then your updated version should contain at least 1% of the existing essence.
The character that Robert Downey, Jr. plays may be named Sherlock Holmes and he may inhabit the geographical and psychological landscape that Holmes inhabits, but he is most certainly not Sherlock Holmes. You could just as well call this movie "Sam Spade: Game of Shadows" or "Mike Hammer: Game of Shadows" and you would be inconceivably closer to a feeling of authenticity than you get by naming it "Sherlock Holmes: Game of Shadows."
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