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'Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows' review - A homoerotic, bullet-time cash grab

The first Sherlock Holmes film, released in 2009 (read our review), set a standard as one of the most patronizingly obvious examples of contemporary Hollywood money-grubbing. As one of Anglophila’s most transmutable literary figures, Holmes has taken many forms over many decades, so it isn’t fair for me to judge Director Guy Ritchie’s interpretation as somehow impure or blasphemous. Even so, there’s something strikingly silly about Robert Downey, Jr. in the role, especially when he spouts unnecessarily convoluted dialogue through an insufferable, pseudo-English accent. As sidekick Watson, Jude Law may not have to fake the accent, but, like Downey, he suffers from a celebrity cultivated primarily in tabloids: both men are movie-stars first, and actors second. It’s not that they can’t act, they’re simply ill-equipped to tastefully portray robust literary figures in a film that prioritizes “bullet-time” over compelling human drama.

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