As my dad was at least as dissatisfied with Game of Shadows as I was, he suggested we watch The Seven Percent Solution last night. I may need to make a "Sherlock Holmes" tag at this rate.
This one is a little odd, since it involves Holmes eventually teaming up with Sigmund Freud, after Freud spends some time treating Holmes for a coke addiction. It also takes the approach that Moriarty was not some massive underworld genius, but is instead responsible for one act that has earned Holmes' ire. It wasn't what I was afraid it was going to be, which was good, I guess?
As Holmes begins to come out of his worst stages of addiction, he gets drawn into the matter of one Madame Devereaux, another patient of Freud's who narrowly escaped abduction. So the second half of the film revolves around the attempt to save her while struggling with the occasional cravings for smack.
It's a well-done movie, other than the swordfight on top of the train looked very obviously fake. I thought Holmes' addiction vanished startlingly fast near the climax, but perhaps that's for the best. It might have seemed a bit contrived to have it kick in at some critical moment, and I suppose we can take it to mean that once Holmes was drawn into the case his mind was sufficiently diverted. The bit of the film I found most surprising was Robert Duvall as Watson, which is not a role I'd necessarily see him in. Not that he hasn't played the sage sidekick plenty of time, but Watson's a bit more refined than most of the roles I associate Duvall with. Though I could see Duvall playing a Watson similar to Jude Law's version, easily slipping into rough and tumble drinking and gambling.
Nicol Williamson does an excellent job as Holmes, even if it took me some time to adjust to a blonde Sherlock. He has a lot of twitchy, manic energy early in the film, but there's a period in the middle where he has this listless melancholy. The slump of the shoulders, the quiet, slow movements, but there's this had to describe sense of his being drawn in on himself, after spending the opening third of the film filling each scene with his presence.