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Review- Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows

December 18, 2011

Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows

  • Starring: Robert Downey, Jr. (Iron Man), Jude Law (Enemy At The Gates), Jared Harris (Mr. Deeds)
  • Directed by: Guy Ritchie (Snatch, RocknRolla)
  • Synopsis: Robert Downey Jr. reprises his role as the world’s most famous detective, Sherlock Holmes, and Jude Law returns as his friend and colleague, Dr. Watson, in “Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows.” Sherlock Holmes has always been the smartest man in the room…until now. There is a new criminal mastermind at large—Professor James Moriarty (Jared Harris)—and not only is he Holmes’ intellectual equal, but his capacity for evil, coupled with a complete lack of conscience, may give him an advantage over the renowned detective.
  • Trailer:

Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows, the highly anticipated sequel to Guy Ritchie’s successful re-imaging of the sleuth whose name is synonymous with puzzle-solving, hit theaters this past weekend with some of the same antics and enjoyable slow motion action sequences that were prevalent in the first one! Filled with a lot of the same wit, characters, and mystery of the first, Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows meets up to what fans of the first would expect from Guy Ritchie and crew in this sequel.

Some of the major successes for this film:

  1. Returning cast members along with new ones (McAdams portrays Irene Adler amazingly. Noomi Rapace did admirably. Harris as Moriarty = a perfect fit!)
  2. Beautiful cinematography
  3. Great -but not overbearing- comedy (Downey, Jr and Law work together tremendously well)
  4. Use of Holmes’ love of disguises
  5. …and much more!

Only 3 things I can really say bothered me about this film:

1. I would’ve preferred to see more sleuthing and less “action-star” sequences from Holmes. He is known for his ability and mastery of deductive reasoning and disguise more so than trading blows with villains or running through the woods while being shot at! (For those of you that don’t fancy reading novels, Sherlock Holmes = action star!)

2. The lack of use of Professor Moriarty as Holmes’ competitive equal. Knowing some of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s characters, Moriarty is essentially Holmes’ equal -only without a conscience or care of anything other than his own schemes and desires. The film goes back and forth in its discovery of the plot, that, at times, Moriarty is forgotten about as the villain while other evils appear to be at work. One thing that made Holmes great was the constant conflict between him and Moriarty. With the strong tease of Moriarty in the first installment, the film does fair-to-little justice to the true sinister evil genius that is the infamous Professor Moriarty.

3. A few too many sub-plots/puzzles/pieces that seem to lead in varying directions of the film and cause boredom in certain scenes. The various paths that the film seems to take make it appear to be all over the place with only comedy and action scenes tying it all together.

BUT!!! While that third point caused disappointment, it is also something that contributed to a strength of the film…


By not laying out all of the secrets in the story, Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows invites you to be a part of the mystery and discover the true plot throughout as the majority of the mysteries stay in the mind of Holmes until the final act! In a masterful way, Ritchie ties in all that the audience sees in the first 2 acts and delivers a highly attentive final act that pays great tribute to the work of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and the first film!

I was greatly impressed with the way in which it all tied together! It would seem that the entire film is a puzzle that Holmes is piecing together and very craftily assembles in the end! If you end up bored watching the first half (several people were snoring in the theater), I guarantee you, the best is yet to come. Stay tuned.

Thanks to my friend, Casey Messer, (host for ReelzChannel’s Naked Trailers and First Fans) @CaseyAtReelz, here’s a look at what some movie viewers had to say at the premiere:

Have you seen it? What did you think? Let me know!

Thanks for reading!

Enjoy if you wish…or don’t enjoy! Happy Watching!

TheSp1der’s Score: 3.5 out of 5 stars for “Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows

up next: “Movie News Monday!”

18 Comments leave one →
  1. msperfectpatty permalink
    December 18, 2011 4:46 pm

    I haven’t seen it but I like the way you break down your review. It’s easy reading and you get the idea right away.


    • December 19, 2011 9:23 am

      Hello msperfectpatty! Thank you for reading and for your kind words. Appreciate it. Will you be seeing this one and reviewing it anytime soon yourself?


      • msperfectpatty permalink
        December 21, 2011 8:05 pm

        I won’t be reviewing it, but I might see it soon.


      • December 22, 2011 8:50 am

        i hope you enjoy it! let me know your thoughts!


  2. December 18, 2011 7:15 pm

    I dont MIND the action emphasis, I dont care for the style they use…

    I agree that Harris was awesome as Moriarty.

    With a $40 mil opening, though, I’m not sure we’ll see him return for SH3. There might not be one unless the film has legs…


    • December 19, 2011 9:24 am

      Yeah. Was a little surprised at its openings in comparison to the first. Thanks for reading Dan. You ready for Christmas?


      • December 19, 2011 7:18 pm

        Movie Blogging wise? Psyched. Bring it on.

        Like presents and lifewise s@#!? Uhmmm no…



      • December 20, 2011 3:36 am

        hahaa! Blogging this time of year is SO much fun! (well, when isn’t it?)

        You better get to shopping, mane! haha. I got plenty to do myself!


  3. December 18, 2011 9:07 pm

    Awesome review T! I have heard so many different opinions on this one, but since you recommend it i’ll definitely be seeing it!

    Btw, just saw Ghost Protocol, FANTASTIC!


    • December 19, 2011 9:25 am

      Glad you got to see it. I’m still waiting to see it. Are you going to review it?
      Thanks for the kind words.


      • December 19, 2011 11:12 am

        Yes sir!


      • December 20, 2011 3:47 am



  4. December 19, 2011 3:18 am


    I have seen lots of average reviews for this. I quite enjoyed the first one, so I guess I will enjoy this too. I will wait for a Blu-Ray though


    • December 19, 2011 9:27 am

      No trip to the cinema for you with this one?! Curious. I thought you might! 😀


  5. December 19, 2011 2:38 pm

    I believe I enjoyed the second installment much more than you did. Where you felt the action scenes were a bit overpowering, I thought they made for a more interesting movie, where the 1st installment lacked. I know a number of people who fell asleep during the first movie, myself being one of them. Although this 2nd film doesn’t foloow as the book, I think the lack of action in a book, does not translate well for a film. So I rather enjoyed the comedy aspect, and thought the action scenes were filmed beautifully.

    I also thought they did a great job at showing that Holmes and Moriarty were like minds in a way, although taking different positions. I felt Moriarty had a fare showing, and agree he was an excellent villain. I did not sleep through this installment, so my rating for it was a bit higher. I enjoyed your review!


    • December 20, 2011 3:46 am

      Love reading your perspective here! Thanks for sharing! I just couldn’t buy into it as much. I grew up reading some of Holmes’ adventures and watching several different versions (of which THIS was my favorite series). I see your point of the bore of the mystery possibly not translating well on film, but I’d say that the challenge then lies with the director/writer to make it work!

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts. It was still a good movie and I’m glad I could report as such. I just wanted and hoped for more than we were given!

      (I’ve said before, I L.O.V.E. when people share differing opinions. 1- Get to see another perspective, 2- It’d be boring if we all liked the same thing, 3- When both parties share their thoughts, they also both get to learn even more about the debated film!…Best part of the discussion!)


  6. December 20, 2011 3:36 pm

    Hmm, interesting review. I really want to see this. A friend at work told me he enjoyed it a lot more than the first one.

    I’ll let you know my thoughts after I see it 😀


    • December 20, 2011 9:54 pm

      I look forward to all you have to say about Sherlock Holmes!


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