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Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows

A movie directed by Guy Ritchie

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Holmes and Watson are Back

  • Dec 21, 2011

Robert Downey, Jr. and Jude Law return once again as Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson in “Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows“. In this installment, a series of bombings across Europe has positioned the nations of the world on the brink of war. Holmes is convinced that there is a criminal mastermind behind the numerous, seemingly unrelated events and he believes it is renowned scholar James Moriarty (Jared Harris).

Watson, well-accustomed to Holmes’ eccentric and erratic behavior, is dubious of Holmes claims. Besides, Watson has his upcoming wedding to focus on, and only deigns to spend time with Holmes at the promise of a stag party at an upscale gentlemen’s club. While the bachelor party includes an entertaining Stephen Fry playing Holmes’ brother, Mycroft, Holmes has ulterior motives for taking Watson to this particular club. Early in the film, Holmes had cleverly intercepted a message from Irene Adler (Amy McAdams), that led him to a fortuneteller named Madam Simza Heron (Noomi Rapace), a woman Holmes believes has been targeted for death by Moriarty, who just happens to be working at the gentlemen’s club.

Eventually a meeting with Moriarty is arranged for Holmes. The two intellectuals spar with one another verbally in a civilized manner, with menacing undertones. Holmes isn’t able to convince Moriarty that Watson is no longer a partner in any of his endeavors and, Holmes is forced to take drastic measures to ensure the doctor and his new wife stay out of harm’s way. From Paris to Germany and other European locales, Holmes, Watson, and Simza and her gypsy friends race against time to uncover the diabolical plot that Moriarty has set for their demise in his quest to drive nations to war.

The film is an absolute delight and is a rare sequel that is even better than the previous film in the series. Robert Downey, Jr. and Jude Law have amazing chemistry with one another and their timing is absolutely perfect. The duo deftly mix action and comedy as well as the serious subject matter of the plot line and are utterly captivating and enjoyable to watch every step of the way. Rapace continues to impress in a much softer character than her Lisbeth Salandar role in the “Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” Swedish trilogy. and is poised to become one of Hollywood’s new leading ladies.

Having become familiar with Harris’ work on the series Mad Men, I was delighted to see him expertly portray such a complex character as Moriarty: a gentleman scholar of impeccable upbringing and education who is also a twisted and evil genius. Harris plays Moriarty perfectly and never lets you forget the dark and sinister side of him without ever becoming a campy or cartoony vaudeville villain.

Guy Ritchie returns as director and lets his stars carry the film. The action has been ramped up this time around with some spectacular action sequences but the action never overshadows the character-driven story. The film was well-paced and an absolute thrill ride from beginning to end mixing fantastic action and some great humor for a very winning combination that is not to be missed. I am already looking forward to future outings of Holmes and Watson on the big screen as this was a truly enjoyable experience that shows you how action comedies are supposed to be made.

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December 21, 2011
Well I guess we all can't agree on everything. It would make for a boring world. I agreed with you completely on Mission Impossible. But I did not like this movie at all. It was well made but I hate what Ritchie has done to the Sherlock Holmes character and the legacy of Doyle's classic work.
More Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Sha... reviews
review by . December 17, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
Being quite familiar with Guy Ritchie’s works such as “Snatch” and “Lock Stock Two Smoking Barrels”, I know he is the kind of director who likes to cater to mainstream viewers. I wasn’t too fond with his “Sherlock Holmes” back in 2009, but I have to admit that it was fun escapist entertainment carried by strong performances from its cast. It was a simple formula that worked that it spawned this sequel “Game of Shadows” as Robert Downey …
review by . December 20, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
I didn't like the original. Why did I think I would like the sequel?
I really did not like the first Sherlock Holmes movie 2009 for many reasons.  I went to see it and was so sorry afterwards.  I don't know what I was expecting but I did not find it entertaining.  I thought it played to freely with the Sherlock Holmes legend and tried to turn it into a video game themed movie.  Now two years later I saw the trailer for the sequel and thought it looked really good.  I read the reviews and some were very good, while some were not.   …
review by . December 17, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
I didn't pick up on it in the first one, but after someone brought it to my attention and repeat viewings....oh yeah, Holmes and Watson are pretty gay for each other in the first film and in this one.....oh yeah it's the whole point why Irene Adler was even in the first movie and why Watson is getting married here, to throw you off.      I really hated making the gay joke above but this running thread in this movie, especially during the train rescue scene is a real distraction.  …
review by . August 17, 2012
posted in Movie Hype
***1/2 out of ****    "Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows" improves upon its predecessor in just about every way. Guy Ritchie has dropped the excessive green screen and employment of unnecessary slow-motion (although plenty is still present, just somewhat more, you know, NECESSARY) as well as the miscast Rachel McAdams from the original (who does appear here, but gets killed off early on, thank God). Ritchie seems to have understood what was wrong and what was right about his …
review by . December 20, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
Star Rating:         The title is Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows, and indeed, it’s all about the shadowy arts of cleverness and deception. This is to be expected when you have an adversarial relationship between two supremely intelligent men. I am, of course, referring to detective-for-hire Sherlock Holmes (Robert Downey, Jr.) and Professor Moriarty (Jared Harris), both engaged in a deadly battle of wits in 1891 Europe. They’re each faced with the monumental …
review by . December 15, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
It was two years ago when Guy Ritchie debuted his take of the famous detective from Baker Street. From the outset it enraged traditionalist fans who did not want Sherlock Holmes to be a gritty street fighter. It was fun to watch as any blockbuster should be and Robert Downey Jr. was in the middle of his resurgence. Since that time Downey has become an A-lister while the original movie grossed $524 million dollars worldwide. So while certainly not a great movie it put butts in the seats and while …
Quick Tip by . December 20, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
Guy Ritchie’s indulges in style, fast-editing and tricky camerawork to generate a feeling of tension in the action sequences. It is a well-made film and such formula was successful in the 2009 film, and in this sequel expect more of the same.      The plot in this sequel is pretty simple and offers little surprises. The acting was good as always, but the dialogue does feel obligatory at times and the interactions between Watson and Holmes resemble a married couple.   …
Quick Tip by . December 17, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
Decent sequel to the 2009 hit has Sherlock and the newly wed Watson following Professor Moriarty's trail as he attempts to agitate events that will lead to World War 1. Plenty of what made the first great, but the homo eroticizm between the leads is un-ignorable nor is the fact that the story, while deep isn't as intriguing.
About the reviewer
Gareth Von Kallenbach ()
Ranked #37
I am a syndicated movie & game critic, writer, author and frequent radio guest. My work has appeared in over 60 publications worldwide and he is the creator of the rising entertainment site "Skewed … more
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Director: Guy Ritchie

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