It seems that Noomi Rapace is really into bro-ing out with buff, Euro actors and frankly, who can blame her? She’s currently in the midst of doing back-to-back films with Tom Hardy — “Animal Rescue” which went in front of cameras this past spring and the upcoming thriller “Child 44” — and now she’s gearing up for another movie with one of her ‘Rescue’ co-stars.
First trailer for Dead Man Down, starring Colin Farrell and Noomi Rapace.
I’m interested in people’s darker side, the ones that aren’t easy and well balanced. The cracks.Happy 33rd Birthday Noomi Rapace!
2011, Guy Ritchie
I’m not sure why it took me this long to get around to watching this (I guess since I couldn’t see it in theaters that by the time it became available to me I had other priorities), but I finally got around to watching Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows today and felt similar towards it as I did the first. This one was slightly less exciting than the original because it didn’t have that freshness that came with Guy Ritchie’s unique take on the material, but it was still an enjoyable experience. At times, A Game of Shadows felt like it lacked some of the wit and energy of its predecessor (perhaps due to the change in setting) but overall it was a similarly enjoyable experience, albeit with its share of faults.
My main problem with both films is that, while the two stars have an endlessly entertaining chemistry together, neither so far has had a villain or central plot that can measure up to the pleasure of these two characters. The series is really built on the chemistry between Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law, who are so intensely watchable whenever they’re together, but it honestly feels like the writing relies too much on their natural charm and forgets to give them a compelling narrative to go with it.
With both Mark Strong in the first and Jared Harris as the infamous Moriarty in Game of Shadows, I felt like they were strong actors saddled with thin, uninteresting characters and the actual plots of the films don’t hold a candle to how much fun it is just watching Downey and Law on screen together in these roles. Harris crafted an intimidating presence that I think put his Moriarty a step above Strong’s Lord Blackwood but I still couldn’t help but feel disappointed when watching the material he was given with; this is really supposed to be Holmes’ mortal enemy? He just didn’t leave nearly enough of an impact to warrant the legacy of the name, within the context of the Holmes legacy or within the universe of this particular interpretation.
Along with the tepid antagonist, Game of Shadows suffers from not really having the kind of appeal that Rachel McAdams brought to the first film. It’s true that the series thrives on the chemistry of Downey and Law, so her removal from the majority of this picture allows for more screentime with the two of them and that’s certainly welcome, but the introduction of Noomi Rapace’s gypsy Simza leaves something to be desired. Rapace is a great actress, but the character simply doesn’t compare to the compelling allure of Irene Adler and I found myself missing her whenever Simza was put on screen.
Game of Shadows also overdoes that editing technique that Ritchie introduced with the first one; it’s effective at first but after a while gets more annoying than anything else. Some of the action scenes felt a bit long-winded as a result, where things got a little too reminiscent of Zack Snyder slowing things down every few seconds. It was an interesting approach that helped these big action pieces feel more coherent than they could have otherwise, but I still thought it was done a bit too much.
As with the first one, the production details here were gorgeous and really helped sell the world and create a pleasurable viewing. Jenny Beavan’s costume design, Sarah Greenwood’s production design and the wickedly energetic score from Hans Zimmer were just as impressive as they were the first go around. Overall, I liked Game of Shadows slightly less than the first of Ritchie’s Holmes films but I still found it an easy, enjoyable way to spend a few hours, primarily thanks to the appeal of Downey and Law together.
Film #363 of The 365 Film Challenge.