Sherlock Holmes - A Game of Shaddows
Hollywood has always had a favorite ethnic group to pick on, depending on the decade. In the 80's, if you needed an instant group of 'bad guys' you just threw together a random assortment of gentlemen from the Middle East, gave them assault rifles and mowed them down as quickly as possible. In the 90's, it was Asian gangs, with the Hong Kong aesthetic horribly perverted by hackneyed directors who could ape the scenery but not the soul of a successful crime movie.
The 2000's, however, posed somewhat of a challenge for racially-profiled cinematic villainy. Political correctness gripped the studios so tightly that they struggled to find set of stereotypes that could be exploited as evil without being buried under an avalanche of hate mail from special interest groups. It wasn't until 2011's "Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows" that a solution was finally found: gypsies.
Yes, that's right - gypsies. These baby-stealing ne'er-do-wells are murdered with aplomb throughout director Guy Ritchie's latest shit-take on the once-popular set of detective stories. Nary an on-screen moment goes by where a gypsy isn't somehow being shot, stabbed, blown up or otherwise abused for the simple crime of having no soul. The title character in fact surrounds himself with a veritable army of gypsy men and women, using them as sub-human shields as he fumbles his way across Europe, Watson at his side, succumbing to their magic spells and falling into trances as they weave a magic that is apparently completely ineffective at warding off bullets, but extremely good at making me wish I were deaf and blind.
In fact, so many gypsies are slaughtered throughout the course of "Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows" that it forces me to wonder if Guy Ritchie has some kind of secret vendetta against this traveling race of European mystics. Or is it simply that gypsies are the new zombies, reanimated folklore that can be disposed of at will in order to disguise enormous plot holes and characterizations that wouldn't withstand the scrutiny of a 22 year old liquor store clerk staring at a fake ID? Either way, Noomi Rapace's botox-inspired performance as their fortune-telling leader is a compelling argument for the onscreen extermination of these rag-clad vermin - or the walling off of Scandinavia. I can't device what would be more effective.
Ultimately, perhaps the greatest tragedy of "Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows" is the fact that this film is so unrelentingly awful and horrifically unfocused that the Queen of England actually had the corpse of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle exhumed so that they could physically remove his knighthood. Apparently the process involves an orphan, a bath tub full of magnesium and a bag of opium. And by 'apparently' I mean 'allegedly.'
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