Movie Review: Sherlock Holmes A Game of Shadows

Movie Review: Sherlock Holmes A Game of Shadows

Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows


PG-13 for intense sequences of violence, action and some drug material.
Genre: Action, Mystery
Running Time: 2 Hours 9 minutes

Warner Brothers returns to the scene of the crime with this sequel to their successful re-imagination of Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes character. Once again Robert Downey Jr. stars as the super-sleuth alongside Jude Law, Rachel McAdams and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo’s Noomi Repace. Mad Men’s Jared Harris also joins the cast as Sherlock’s arch villain, Professor Moriarty.

Elementary My Dear Watson

Sherlock Holmes has always been the smartest man in the room – until now. We briefly met him in the first Sherlock Holmes movie and now he’s back in all his splendor in A Game of Shadows. Professor Moriarty not only has the intellect of Sherlock Holmes, but his capacity for evil, coupled with a complete lack of conscience may give him an advantage over the renowned detective. Holmes’ investigation into Moriarty’s plan becomes even more dangerous as it leads him and Watson out of London and across Europe, to France, Germany and finally to Switzerland.

Robert Downey Jr. along with Jude Law are back reprising their roles as Sherlock Holmes and his companion Dr. Watson. While Law seems a little out of water at first as he tries to get back into the groove of his Watson role, Downey Jr. once again shines as this eccentric and what appears to be an out-of-touch-with-reality detective. Once the movie gets rolling Law does catch his stride alongside of Downey Jr. and then the pair are a treat to watch on the big screen. Rachel McAdams is once again wonderful but the kid on the block – Noomi Rapace ends up stealing the screen with her presence. As for Professor Moriarty, Jared Harris puts in an admirable performance, but for some reason there’s just something lacking in the believability department for this character.

Rarely does a sequel stack up with the first in the series. But such is not the case with Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows. This follow up to the 2009 Sherlock Holmes does indeed shine just like the first one. From the opening scene you’re pulled into the magical, complicated and yet simplistic world of the greatest detective that ever lived. He’s the master of disguises with an amazing power for deduction and observation. He calls it a curse, but the so-called curse makes him one of the most brilliant masterminds when it comes to solving crimes. But, in this new movie, it also appears Sherlock Holmes may have met his match. The cunning Professor Moriarty is always one step ahead of the great detective as he spins a web of death and destruction. It’s all part of a great plan – and if he succeeds – the plan will change the course of history too.

More Than Just Sleuthing

Clocking in at slightly more than two hours I wondered if A Game of Shadows would hold my attention. Any doubt that this would be nothing less than an edge of your seat type movie were put to rest from the opening scene. The scriptwriters waste no time when it comes to building a sense of suspense. It’s also worth pointing out there’s more going on here than just suspense and detective sleuthing. There’s a great chemistry between Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law which catapults their performances of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson to a jump off the screen performance. Couple that with the suspense aspect of the movie and toss in the comic relief that’s sprinkled throughout and it all makes for a stand out movie.

Overall we really enjoyed Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows. It’s a refreshing sequel and it’s nice that it is not merely a rehash of what went before. While you don’t necessarily need to see the first movie to enjoy this second installment in the franchise, it will help if you have seen it. The writers do well in making sure new viewers will not be lost. However, the viewing enjoyment will be bolstered if you’ve seen the first Sherlock Holmes movie before seeing A Game of Shadows.

When it comes to rating, we have to say this movie is not family-friendly. We pondered a cautionary warning but even with a PG-13 rating there are images and portions of this movie which simply slide it out of the family-friend genre. While there’s no cursing, swearing or sex scenes, Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows does contain some rather violent scenes that are not suitable for a younger audience.

Enjoy the show!
Dr. Rus

About the Author

Dr. Rus has 30+ years experience in the field of communication. He takes this experience, and his passion to encourage others to positively effect their environment, when providing insight and movie reviews.