MOVIE REVIEW: Sherlock Holmes: A Game Of Shadows

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Film: Sherlock Holmes: A Game Of Shadows
Starring: Robert Downey Jr.
Directed By: Guy Ritchie

After the success of Guy Ritchie’s 2009 adaptation of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, at least one sequel was destined to explode onto the silver screen sooner rather than later. Surely enough, 3 years later, Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows makes its way to cinemas in response to our thirst for entertainment, and I’m quenched. This time, the disarranged and manic, yet methodic and observant Holmes continues his sleuthing on a grander scale with far larger stakes. The film lives up to its promises for an action packed ride throughout with some softer elements sprinkled in the dull spots.

Robert Downey Jr. returns for this second installment in the company of Jude Law, reprising his role as the steadfast and reluctant Dr. John Watson. The two are accompanied by award winning actress Noomi Rapace (The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo [2009]) who takes on the role of Gypsy woman, Sim. Filling the mysterious role of Professor James Moriarty is English actor Jared Harris (Mad Men, Fringe, Mr. Deeds) who, as always, plays the antagonist to perfection. His cold and calculated demeanor challenges the idea that Holmes is beyond deception and that the detective may have met his match.

Following several murder cases throughout Europe, Holmes challenges the Professor to match wits in a game where the ante is high. This challenge is met with a threat aimed at Dr. Watson and his new bride. The undeterred Holmes then decides that rather than accepting defeat, he might as well drag Watson along for yet another adventurous romp across the continent encountering the seemingly limitless supply of henchmen his foe can hire to hinder their way. The film pairs the two far better than it’s predecessor and Watson is given far better opportunities to shine (his honeymoon was ruined after all). Through cunning and gunfire, Holmes and company track clues to find Moriarty and halt his plans to control both the bullets and the bandages of an inevitable world war.

Amidst the consistent barrage of explosions and slow-motion fighting, Director Guy Ritchie takes the time to briefly show a vulnerable side to Holmes by means of Irene Adler (Rachel McAdams) whose life is taken by the investigator’s opponent. In spite of Hollywood’s call for bangs and pops, Ritchie does a phenomenal job of staying relatively true to Doyle’s story and characters. Kieran Mulroney’s writing contributions to the film are matched only by the brilliant and skilled delivery of the leading males, Downey Jr. and Law. The cinematography and production of A Game Of Shadows is expectedly crisp and vivid, laced with intricate sweep-shots which only draw the viewer into Ritchie’s world even further. The soundtrack pleases with further accompaniment by Hans Zimmer. A special commendation should be given to the wardrobe department and designers for the interesting disguises and outfits Downey dons for his more covert undertakings.

Sherlock Holmes: A Game Of Shadows is the best of this still young series and promises to fill two hours of your evening with an action packed adventure and well worth the evening theatre ticket. From a bird’s eye view, A Game Of Shadows is a rip-roaring good time with a thick plot and perceptive puzzles to keep those of all ages entertained. The only drawback is the fast pace at which the film progresses. If one doesn’t keep a keen eye and ear to the storyline, it’s quite possible to get lost in the middle, scrambling to catch back up. Otherwise, Holmes continues to please and amaze.

Written By Jacob Tender (Follow him on Twitter)
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Jacob Tender

Jacob is a freelance writer who calls curbside.audio home. He is also the co-host of the Bantha Fodder podcast and helps UTG with technical and financial nonsense.
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  • Haha

    Great movie can’t wait for Batman 3!

  • P O P

    P.O.P was here!