Friday, December 23, 2011

Sherlock Holmes: Game of Shadows - does Bond meet Holmes?

Parallels have already been drawn between Guy Ritchie's epic re imagining of the Sherlock Holmes franchise and the silver screen's most long-standing action hero, James Bond.

This is mostly because the outrageous action sequences and sexy subplots make Robert Downey Jnr's Holmes very different to the deer-stalker-clad detective of movies past.

Yet in the second big-screen outing for Robert Downey Jnr - Sherlock Holmes: Game of Shadows - the parallels go even tighter. One of the most hilarious one-liners of the film sees Holmes faced with the undignified challenge of riding a horse: "They're dangerous at both ends," he quips, "and uncomfortable in the middle."

That's a line most famously spoken by Ian Fleming, creator of James Bond.

It mirrors another similarity between Bond and Holmes - one highlighted by the dramatic conclusion of Game of Shadows, which sees Holmes and his arch nemesis, Professor Moriarty, battle to the death at the Reichenbach Falls.

This was a plot drawn from Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's story The Final Problem, in which he attempted to "kill" the character of Sherlock Holmes because he was sick of writing about him.

"I must save my mind for better things," he wrote to his mother at the time, "even if it means I must bury my pocketbook with him."

Ian Fleming, too, found himself attempting to murder his iconic character on several occasions.

James Bond almost croaked after being stabbed by a poisoned boot at the end of From Russia With Love, sent off to Soviet Vladivostock at the conclusion of You Only Live Twice and was then left rotting in a swamp at the end of The Man With The Golden Gun (although Fleming might be innocent on that last count of attempted fictionacide, since it's popularly believed Martin Amis wrote thebook.)

In any event, there's a definite similarity in the hatred both Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Ian Fleming had for their creations - despite them making them both rich and famous.

I like to think Game of Shadows writers Kieran Mulroney and Michele Mulroney knew this when they penned the script - and threw in that line as a nod to Bond aficionados like myself.

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