JT Film Review

128 – Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows (2011)

Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows REVIEW

4/5 stars

Director – Guy Ritchie

Cast – Robert Downey Jr., Jude Law, Jared Harris, Noomi Rapace, Stephen Fry, Rachel McAdams, Eddie Marsan


follows Sherlock Holmes


Sherlock Holmes (Robert Downey Jr.) makes his return in the lavishly un-traditional “updated” Holmes series, directed by British director Guy Ritchie. Downey is accompanied by Jude Law, who returns with his (excellent) portrayal of Watson, that I still insist would fit in with a more traditional Holmes movie just as well. This time they face ultimate Holmes baddie Professor Moriarty, played with just the right amount of sneer by Jared Harris (son of the late Richard Harris). In this outing he has become a major controller in the arms business, and is attempting to pit half of Europe against the other half, so he can profit from the arms sales.

The frenetic pace and slow motion “thought process” scenes appear here, intact  from the first movie. Holmes and Watson’s relationship is as funny, testy, and homo-erotic as always. Thankfully, the movie doesn’t have the faux-mystical plot of the first. It also has more action, which is a double edged sword, as there’s perhaps a bit too much of it. The action scenes are always entertaining though.

Worthy of special mention is the indomitable Stephen Fry, playing Mycroft Holmes, Sherlock’s older, smarter brother. Fry is a delight, wherever he makes an appearance, no matter how unclothed he is doing it.

The true strength of these movies is their wit, speed, and general sense of fun, and Downey and Law’s relationship is the icing on the cake. They bicker, fight, and needle each other, but this is a bro-mance as tight as Gibson and Glover in Lethal Weapon. Not even Watson’s marriage can come between them. His fiance is played by Kelly Reilly, and it’s a pity (along with Noomi Rapace) that she doesn’t get to do more.

One thing she does do is get thrown out of a train, falling down an incredible distance to land in a river. Unhurt. There are a few moments like this that don’t actually make any sense in a world with anything near our laws of physics. One implied moment involving an oxygen breather and a waterfall makes no sense, but with the energy of this movie you end up not caring. That’s the mark of a good action movie I think. The sincere (if tongue-in-cheek) acting, and the pure adrenaline just carry you right along.


Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows improves on its predecessor in most ways, though it is a bit lagging toward the end. But Downey and Law both bring their A-game, and the energy from the first is present and accounted for. Worth your time if you liked the first one, and maybe even if you didn’t.



“Sherlock Homes: A Game of Shadows” on other websites:

IMDB —– Rotten Tomatoes —– Wikipedia



December 17, 2011 - Posted by | 4 Stars, Film Review, Genre - Thriller, Year - 2010-2019 | , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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