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Movie Review Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows (2011)

Movie Review Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows (2011)


Sherlock Holmes A Game of Shadows Movie Poster

Don’t be a ponce, crack on!

The original dynamic duo are back to solve the case of what makes a great movie. It’s elementary, my dear watchers.


It is difficult to review a movie that has become one on your favorites without dropping spoilers or turning the review into a fan-like discussion. Sherlock Holmes, the detective created by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, gets a sequel featuring all the usual suspects. Guy Ritchie (snatch, Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels) is back to direct Robert Downey Jr. (Holmes) and Jude Law (Watson). The 2009 original gave us a great interpretation of the iconic detective and a solid script left us amused, thrilled and hungry for more. Ritchie deserves a ton of credit for tackling such a familiar hero and breathing new life into the title by adding modern and slick touches while still nailing the feel of a period piece.


A Game of Shadows brings the arch-nemesis; Professor Moriarty, out of the shadows and into the forefront. Jared Harris plays the puppet master who is finally forced to reveal his strings. I expected Moriarty to appear fearsome or sinister, but for a man of his stature (a…professor and novelist among other pursuits) it wouldn’t make sense and so he is delivered as an evil-intellectual and this makes for a worthy opponent and opposite for Sherlock Holmes.


The script, written by Michele and Kieran Mulroney, brings us more delightful banter between the characters and some great twists and tying up of loose ends while also tying new knots. Past loves reappear and two new characters are added to round out the crew. Noomi Rapace (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and the recent Prometheus) plays a gypsy sidekick and Stephen Fry (V for Vendetta) arrives as Sherlock’s brother.


The Plotting Plot

Sherlock Holmes matches wits with the only opponent on his level. He will need to reason sharper and act faster if he hopes to unravel a sinister plot that threatens to undue nations and plunge an entire world into war. This second romp is as good as the first and I might even say it was better, but the original will always remain the groundbreaker.  I can tell you that everything you want in a sequel is here and the story and action are taken to the next level. This should be in everyone’s collection. If you have not seen the first movie, I suggest you watch these in order to fully appreciate the in-jokes and subtle cues. One of the best movies I have seen in a long time. I am not a film critic; I am simply critiquing a movie.

  1. chris
    September 4, 2012 at 11:58 pm

    It is a heavy task to recreate one of the most beloved characters in the history of literature, perhaps only outweighed by the task of making a sequel to that story. Sequels are notoriously lackluster and often feel like a slapped together cash grab, but Guy Ritchie does it right with this one. I missed this movie in theaters, and was really excited when I saw that it was coming out on DVD. I put it on my Blockbuster @Home queue, and it came in the mail yesterday. I had a great time watching it with my girlfriend and a coworker from Dish. We all thought that it was bigger, and better than the first. There was less character development needed which left time for more action. I was able to rent the Blu-Ray too, which was great and really gave that home theater experience. I would recommend this movie to anyone, it is just one of those popcorn munching Hollywood spectaculars that will appeal to everyone.

    • September 5, 2012 at 1:15 am

      I must have watched the confrontation after the chess match 100 times.

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