Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows Review

“Be Careful For What You Fish For...”

December 24th, 2011

Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows is a 2011 British-American action mystery film.

Directed by: Guy Ritchie.

Starring:Robert Downey, Jr., Jude Law, Noomi Rapace, Jared Harris, Stephen Fry

and Rachel McAdams.

Once again, the world calls upon the masterful deductive skills of Sherlock Holmes and his loyal friend Watson to stop yet another villain hell bent on taking over the world, in his own right: Professor Moriarty.

Through the fictional endeavors created by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, we are introduced to Holmes notorious enemy and criminal mastermind: Professor Moriarty. Known to be the Napoleon of Crime, he is based off an actual criminal of his period, Adam Worth, who respectfully carried said title. Moriarty is treated as Holmes primary antagonist in both literature and the current films. We must remind ourselves of the man in black under dark cloak whom threatened our detective at gunpoint back in 2009. Though I've not the pleasure of reading the source material, this sequel is based on Doyle's "The Final Problem", but only by inspiration rather than strict adaptation.

We travel for a second time back to 221B Baker Street where we find our delightful, strange and magnanimous detective Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson, on the verge of becoming wedded to his wife, fall into a man's obsession in controlling the world while eliminating the competition and the obstacles. I won't lie by saying the plot is convoluted. It took me a hard pressing banging to the brain to catch on and be satisfied. There was a slight chance I had to think like Holmes to be aware of what was happening. Alas, I managed to deduce the blackness of Game of Shadows. Our leading men, Downey and Law maintain the movie's complications with their synchronized humor and brotherly love relationship. Without causing a problem, watching these two are like witnessing the best gay relationship on screen. They can't live without each other meddling in their lives even when they wish they could.

The movie is not without it's leading women, where one is a new addition and the other a short-lived cameo. Noomi Repace, the original Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, plays a gypsy whose only connection is that of a MacGuffin being toyed around like a puppet. Her first English role apart her Swedish films, for beauty she is, but talent, almost wasted. As for McAdams, while her presence portrays a classy woman of the 1800s, brings her well-accepted performance from the first film, only to be buried at sea. Shame....As for Moriarty, Jared Harris was an ideal choice.

Guy Ritchie dazzled me with the first movie in his utilization of slow motion action plus narrative to get the ball rolling, but boy; it could have been trimmed down just a little. No doubt the action, explosions and hand-to-hand combat between detective and professor was breathtaking, but are we being sold a super hero rather than a steam punk version of fictional role model?

Sherlock Holmes here is a master of disguises and plays part to the comedy of the production. The drag queen costume and the final minutes of the film are clear example. Robert Downey Jr. has always been a great actor, even better after his return to rise of popularity and performance since Stark-Iron, but I fear that he might suffer from it. A third movie is coming, but hopefully he doesn't end up like Stranger Tides. It would be interesting to see the direction it will take since this last villain was to be the last. At least, he performs without missing a beat.

The sequel overall, is fun to watch, although complicated to grasp for some. The comedy and action will entertain and the mind will surely be tested. With great hope, a third adventure will learn from the second.

Written by: Bawnian©-Dexeus.


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  • bawnian-dexeus • 4 years ago

    @moviegeek Thanks man. I did enjoy it like I said I would, but thought hard on what really crippled it.


    • bawnian-dexeus • 4 years ago

      @the-movieghost Whatever the writers come up with, better be less convoluted and more easy going and as fresh as the first.


      • the-movieghost • 4 years ago

        Great review! I found myself thinking a few things similar to what you wrote. Namely the possibility of a Threequel. Was Moriarty really supposed to be the "End-all-be-all" Villain? I can't see him returning for the Third, unless he had a similar contraption to the one Holmes had. That breathing/oxygen thing.

        I was sad to see McAddams go so soon. She was great in the First Film. Eh, bring on the Third!


        • moviegeek • 4 years ago

          Agreed on a lot of this. McAdams was a far better leading lady than Rapace. Good review dude


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