By Oliver Lyttelton | www.oliverlyttelton.com December 5, 2011 at 9:37AM
Now most of the awards contenders have been unveiled, the major secrets left in the 2011 movie advent calendar are a few big, loud blockbusters that'll hit around Christmas; films like "Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol," "The Darkest Hour," and, um, "Alvin & The Chipmunks: Chipwrecked." Will they be sweet, sugar-y goodness, or the cinematic equivalent of Billy Bob Thornton drunkenly eating the whole thing late at night, and then remorsefully filling it with candy corn and taping it up again?
Well, in one case, it just got a little easier to guess, as nine clips, or about eight minutes worth, of "Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows," Guy Ritchie's sequel to his 2009 surprise blockbuster, have arrived, and Collider have assembled them into one handy video embed. Clearly running by the "if-it-ain't-broke" maxim, things look pretty similar to the first one, with some enjoyable banter between Robert Downey Jr's Holmes and Jude Law's Watson (if these clips are indicative of the film as a whole, the comedy quotient has been upped second time around), handsome costume and production design, and some stylistic zip from Ritchie.
What the sequel does offer, and what the clips give the first glimpse of, are a few new additions to the mix. Rachel McAdams returns as Holmes' treacherous foil Irene Adler, but things aren't looking good for her and we'd wager that a large percentage of her total screen time is on display here. Likely to figure more heavily is Noomi Rapace's Sim, a gypsy who aids the boys, Jared Harris' arch-villain Professor Moriarty, and Stephen Fry as Mycroft Holmes, the great detective's brother.
We're yet to be convinced by Rapace, but she only has a few lines here. But what we can see of Harris and Fry is very promising, with the former looking like a truly worth adversary (and an inspired bit of casting), while the sibling rivalry between Mycroft and Sherlock looks like it could be fun. We're not expecting the world from "Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows" when it lands on December 16th, but judging from the clips, we're not expecting a major dip in quality second time around either. Watch the clips below.