Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows (2011)

Posted in Reviews by - April 24, 2012
Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows (2011)

A Game of Shadows is a Sherlock Holmes adventure which proceeds at such a fast pace that you soon forget the enormous plot holes and lack of mystery in this flawed but entertaining roller-coaster ride.

Instead of being presented with a series of clues to puzzle out, we are instead treated to a high-octane Victorian Hollywood blockbuster, in which the superhero sleuth teams up with his old pal the doctor and before you know it Sherlock Hope and Bing Watson are off on The Road To Reichenbach.

As the story goes, it is 1891, and Holmes links a series of mysterious bombings and deaths to the sinister Professor Moriarty (Jared Harris), who appears intent on plunging the world into war in order to reap a profit for his arms manufacturing enterprise. Sherlock Holmes (Robert Downey Jr), his friend Dr Watson (Jude Law) and gypsy fortune teller Madam Simza Heron (Noomi Rapace) then set off across Europe in order to prevent World War I, which historically speaking does seem a little pointless.

What ensues is a clever action movie complete with artful slow-motion scenes and great cinematography, as the swashbuckling Holmes and Watson engage in witty banter and comedic mayhem while trying to thwart Moriarty’s fiendish plan.

Aside from amusing performances by Downey and Law, Jared Harris was also convincing as Holmes’ devious arch-nemesis, while the multi-talented Stephen Fry put in an excellent performance as Holmes’ quirky older brother, Mycroft. However, the female characters are not given the opportunity to fare as well, as they are either kept in the background like The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo’s Noomi Rapace, cast aside or thrown off a train.

Nevertheless, under the direction of Guy Ritchie ‘A Game of Shadows’ becomes a wholly fun and exuberant experience, albeit with a distinct Hollywood flavour.


The game is, err, on!

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This post was written by James
Hi, My name is James Atticus and I have had a keen passion for movies ever since being blown away while watching 'A Trip to the Moon' back in 1902. Hardly surprisingly, I am a big sci-fi and horror fan, although my love of film extends throughout all the genres. One of my favourite quotes about cinema was told to me by Alfred Hitchcock, who said: "For me, the cinema is not a slice of life, but a piece of cake." To which I replied, "Don't mind if I do!"


  • Doky

    Enjoyable enough movie but pretty daft and lacked any element of dignity associated with the original Sherlock character. A Game Of Shadows was indistinguishable from any other generic American action movie. Why even bother associating this film with Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s original creation if not for the extra $$$$$$$.

    • Carlos

      Doesn’t look too bad. If it’s roughly the same as the first one I won’t be too botheredd. The first wasn’t great but it was dumb fun for Christmas. Hopefully the decision to include Noomi Rapace won’t blow up in their faces because in the original Girl in the Fireplace film she was phenomenal. And come awards season she was shafted by everyone. Hopefully this film will give her some widespread attention and and will gain her another acclaimed role.

    • Nikodem

      I’m thrilled that Fry is in this. He’s been spending so much time traveling the U.S., presenting QI and recording linguistics CDs that he hasn’t featured in films half as much as he should have. Stepehen Fry’s voice is one of the things that has helped him become such a classy actor. He’s like a 21st century George Sanders.

  • Nicole

    I was wondering if Brad Pitt was still a heavy rumor to play Moriarty. It would be nice to seem him play a twisted role again instead of the obvious likable characters he’s played as of late. Stephen Fry is a nice addition. So far it’s shaping up to be a pretty compelling cast, hopefully the franchise can takes things to the next level because I found the first one to leave me lukewarm. And that shouldn’t happen when Jude Law and RDJ are in a flick together.

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