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Darryl R. Scott

Warning note from Lance: I think this is an insightful comment from Darryl, particularly on the subject of Jude Law, but it contains what some people might consider a major plot spoiler, although if you paid close attention to the trailer you've probably got it figured out already. Still, might you might not want to read this until after you've seen the movie.

Once again, a superb analysis. You sir, are on my short list of film critics that I find indispensable.

A few random thoughts:

As with Toy Story and The Godfather, A Game of Shadows falls into that rare category of a sequel that's better than the original. Although I enjoyed the first movie, it was a noisy roller coaster that you forgot how much fun it was once the adrenaline wore off.

That's not the case in A Game of Shadows. There's a deep and mournful emotional resonance that doesn't go away. Yes, the game's afoot, but there's dire consequences this time around.

I love Rachel McAdams, but as Irene Adler she was grievously miscast. One of Ritchie's strength as a filmmaker is his use of actors (the great Stephen Fry as Mycroft, for example), but sadly, McAdams proved that nobody's perfect. What happens to Irene Adler not only corrects this mistake, it raises the stakes in this ominous chess match between Holmes and Moriarty.

Jared Harris is superb. His chilling and beautifully understated interpretation of Moriarty is a polite sociopath who uses a scapel instead of a chainsaw to disembowel his victims, murmuring "pardon me" as he methodically carries on his grisly task. Harris will be shamefully ignored by the clueless Oscar voters, of course.

Oddly enough, Jude Law again reinforces my theory that he's better as a supporting character than as a lead. In Enemy At The Gates, Alfie or Repo Men, he's barely there. But as Gigolo Joe, Harlen Maguire and Dickie Greenleaf, his characters have a presence, authority, and cast long shadows.

Bottom line, Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows is a wonderful film, and I wish Downey, Law and Ritchie would stay in London forever.

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