With the wonderful news that Sherlock Holmes 3 is in fact happening (*still dancing for joy*) I thought I would find Hans Zimmer’s interviews on the scores he did for Sherlock Holmes (2009) and the sequel Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows (2011).
I love these movies, I really do. Being a fan of the late Jeremy Brett’s interpretation of the famous detective (he played the role on the Granada television series in the 1980s), I wasn’t sure about Robert Downey Jr. playing the role initially. However, once I saw the movies, all my doubts fell away and I was in love!
And being a musicologist, the music jumped out to me almost immediately. That slightly off-tune piano melody does an amazing job of setting the scene for the entire story. My favorite part (one of many) has to be the climactic battle on the unfinished Tower Bridge. Also, the byplay between Irene and Holmes was spot-on perfection (music included, you can tell that Holmes still has rather strong feelings for her, even if he denies it).
The sequel is just as amazing and Hans Zimmer returns to deliver an exceptional score. What’s fascinating here is that for this score, Zimmer traveled to various countries to find musicians with that “ethnic” and “rustic” sound that matched the mood he was looking for.
The big moment here, is when Holmes and Moriarty are playing out their own scenarios as to how this fight between them will go. The very end, when Holmes admits that the only way is for them BOTH to die….is just perfect. There’s a weird imbalance between the music and the scene here, but it works. The only one screaming is Moriarty; Holmes is perfectly serene. At first it would appear to be because he’s come to terms with his life and impending death, but of course, we find out at the end it’s probably because he had no intention of dying at all (I hope Watson slugs him in the next one for faking his death like that).
My biggest wish now is that Zimmer returns for Sherlock Holmes 3, what a pity it doesn’t come out until next year! Argh!!!
*both posters are the property of Warner Bros. Pictures
If you’d like to learn more about the film scores of Hans Zimmer, see here
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