[personal profile] schweinsty
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So. I saw Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows today. There are some bits I like about this movie. Watson gets a great bit that recognizes him not being stupid. There is judicious use of Schubert (I not very sekritly love Schubert, he's one of my favorite composers and is wonderful and everyone should go listen to his music omg). There are some good bits between Holmes and Watson, one bit that I loved between Watson and Mary, some stuff that I cover under the first cut, and I loved the ending - the one that starts after the end of the subplot I rant about in point 2. I mean, there really are parts of this that I enjoyed! And yet. When I left the theater?

At first I left the theater and was pretty irritated, but not completely RAGEy, but like. This movie, guys. It. The way it treated its women. Makes me want to spit nails. And the more I think about it, the angrier I get.


I'll try to be succinct, because I could go on and on and I get horribly wordy and repetitive when I'm upset, so:

1. IRENE. There was, like, absolutely no reason Irene had to die. It would have worked just as well if Moriarty had sent her on an errand to, like, Belgium. It would have worked if she'd taken Simza's place - maybe she had a sekrit husband who was good for her and like, a normal sap like in canon? Or she could have gone on a last-bid attempt to escape Moriarty's clutches and teamed up with Holmes and Watson to SAVE EUROPE and that would have been fine. But, no, she gets discarded like a used hankie just to give Holmes some angst which he was already wallowing in thanks to Mr. und Mrs. Watson's being in danger because of him, so, yeah, I guess - it upped the stakes to 'People could die!' which we already knew, and honestly, the threat of Moriarty's killing John and Mary slowly and torturing them was already quite enough, srsly. And. Just.

In the stories, you know, Irene beats Holmes? And Holmes beats Moriarty? So shouldn't she theoretically-ugh. Like. And in the first movie, even though she's already under Moriarty's thumb, she still makes off without just losing to Holmes like that, and she was wily and cunning and awesome (well, -er, anyway), and here, like - she's just inept, I mean. Holmes just outwits/out-thieves her in the first five minutes and then Moriarty just disposes of her because she's not useful and that's about all the use this movie had for women. Urrrrrrgh. They should have called it Sherlock Holmes: Useless Women Occasionally Inhabit Metaphorical Fridges.

2. Simza. So, I was kind of excited to see Noomi Rapace. I've been meaning to watch her GWTDT movies but haven't gotten around to it, but I've heard awesome things about her performance in them. And here - she's trying, I think, and there are bits and places where she gets through and manages to infect this cardboard McGuffin-seeker with some actual life - like, when she goes 'I've never done this before' and you look at her face and she looks vulnerable? But the character is just so badly written, IDEK. I mean, and it's not just that they just went 'Hey, we need a spunky ladycharacter who isn't Irene. How 'bout something ethnic that won't offend? O, I kno, a gypsy! And she can be a fortune-teller! And, like, involved in an underground political movement! I see no downsides to employing this stereotype!'

Yeah, that doesn't go well. You never really care about her or her brother (and it seriously doesn't help you could practically delete that entire subplot and the outcome would be the same basically, there's just nothing to care for), so when he dies and she's crying, it's just - meh. And then - she just shows up at Holmes' funeral? And that's it. Like, you never get a sense of where she comes from, or who she is, and she's never really allowed to shine (helping them dress down and get across the border, I guess, but it's like, her and a bunch of men helping her, and idk. holmes and watson - like, crossing over a border would be doable, is the impression you get from them, without guides necessarily). She always has to be lesser than Holmes, anyway - so she can never kick ass too much or do a whole lot of actual damage with her throwing knives, and it's just so horribly disappointing.

and

3. Mary. Okay, I'm ngl, I totally loved Mary in this - it fits in with the character from the first film, who was quietly badass @ the hospital with Holmes and stood her ground by Watson's side, and here when she had that gun, and afterwards, was obviously shaken up and needed to sit down but bounced back up right away - like, she and John worked off each other really well, there, and it just clicked like 'oh, so that's why he fell in love with her'.

But then. Mycroft. You know, if one of the bad guys had walked around naked around a (esp. v. committed relationship) woman who is staying at his house with nowhere else to go basically, even though she was obviously uncomfortable with it and tried to look away? That would not have gone down well and would have been painted as BAD and WRONG BADONG. But it's Stephen Fry and he's a good guy, so it's automatically hilarious!!!! OH ho ho, watch Mary look away and be ill at ease, like. Ugh. And, okay, I'll admit, Holmes and Watson as portrayed here are at - well, there are serious liberties taken with them, and Irene and whatever, but, just imagining *any* of the 'good guys' from the original canon - even most of the bad guys - sexually harassing a woman like this? Yeah. No. On so many levels. Because that shit is not on.

Grrr aaaaaarrrrrrrrrggghhhhh.


Also, ps, Guy Ritchie? 3 things:


1. Making a movie 'Darker' does not equal making a movie with crappy pacing that fucking lags in the middle and

2. That big chase scene? With the explosions and the stuff and the running and the trees? It made a part of me happy: the 9-year-old that used to want to be either a librarian, an English teacher, or the person on movie sets who made things blow up. Not so satisfied? The older-than-9-years-old bits of me that now have come to fully understand the term 'seventh circle of slo mo'.

3. Seriously. The 'banter' at the start? That is basically a rehash of their exchanges in the first movie? We got it. Holmes was upset at losing Watson to marriage. Point taken. Thank you so much for beating us over the head with a mallet with it! Never could have grokked it without that!

(no subject)

Date: 2011-12-17 03:57 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] giving-ground.livejournal.com
So Noomi Rapace was on the radio here the other day and she was all like, uggggghhhhh, I bitched at them so much and I kept trying to make the character a bit more alive. But they cut that stuff of course! It did... not make me feel more motivated to see the film.
Edited Date: 2011-12-17 03:57 pm (UTC)

(no subject)

Date: 2011-12-17 08:09 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] schweinsty.livejournal.com
Yeah. There's this moment where - because Irene gets poisoned and dies coughing bloodily into a handkerchief, which Moriarty then gives to Sherlock to make him angst - Sherlock and John are on a boat, and Sherlock takes this bloody, soiled napkin and sets it ~free~ and drops it off the boat while he and Watson give each other angsty looks, which - honestly, I really wish I were still in uni, because that is the most apt metaphor for how this movie treats womanhood ever.

And Rapace - honestly, you really can see that she was trying, but the character is just a plot point and the writers/director/whomever - like, her story is that her brother got suckered into becoming an assassin for Moriarty, and she and Holmes and Watson are looking for him in order to stop him! And that's it. There's no sense of what her relationship with him is like or - I mean, it's just really bad writing.

And what really pissed me off is that there is this one (male, of course) character who is onscreen who is in sort of a similar to Simza - his family has been kidnapped by Moriarty, except he made a deal in order to save them, by helping Moriarty and then committing suicide, and he's only onscreen less than three minutes, but by the team he dies you have such a better sense of his character and motivations than of Noomi's, and he gets to act his little heart out and it sticks with you, and. When Noomi's brother dies, it just seems so rote and boring and you have nothing invested in it.

And I'm fascinated to hear that! I've only seen one interview with her, and it was the usual working on this film was interesting/RDJ and Jude Law are great actors & nice people, so I'm curious if that was just the American interviews or what.

And I'm sorry I'm being the opposite of succinct here, but this movie just irritated me so much.

(no subject)

Date: 2011-12-17 06:01 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] nthdraft.livejournal.com
you know, I am glad Irene dies for once. I have hated her for thirty years, the way old school Sherlockians practically worship her for saving their hero from being a "confirmed bachelor" or worse ;-) Glad someone offed her before she could become the mother of Nero Wolfe.

Considering in the canon it's Mary who gets put on a bus off camera, nice to see the turnaround. But seriously, it's Holmes, women are teh ebil even when they're damsels in distress.

(no subject)

Date: 2011-12-17 08:14 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] schweinsty.livejournal.com
Eh, I guess it's because I wasn't really in the SH fandom until a couple years ago, though I read the stories when I was younger, but I never really thought of Irene as much of a love interest or anything for Holmes - I thought she just interested him because she defied his misogynist stereotyping. Or something. He always coded as so ace to me.

And honestly, I wouldn't have had such a huge problem with it if it hadn't been handled in such an offhand fashion; if she'd died during the climax saving the world or something - but she just got offed in the first ten minutes after being so incompetent compared to how she was in the first movie, it just grated so much.

I was actually kind of hoping they would have taken the chance of these movies to comment on Holmes' misogyny (and they sort of did, actually, but in this one it was done by Fry while he was in the aforementioned naked scene, so), but besides a bit of lip service, they just sort of ran with it, and IDK. It just irritated me quite a bit.

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