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

Sherlock Holmes 2 A Game of Shadows movie poster robert downey jr

Rated: PG-13
Genre: Adventure, action, mystery, detective
Running Time: 2 Hours 9 Minutes
Director: Guy Ritchie
Cast: Robert Downey Jr., Jude Law, Rachel McAdams

Synopsis: “Sherlock and Watson face arch-nemesis Professor Moriaty, who is conspiring to make a fortune at the expense of the rest of the world. As Sherlock and Watson unravel the dastardly plot as they travel across Europe, they unlock Moriaty’s secret- the manufacturing of next-generation weapons. Sherlock and Watson must stop this great threat before Moriarty succeeds in provoking a World War” (Warner Bros. Pictures).

Verdict: Never liked Guy Ritchie‘s vision of Sherlock Holmes but at least the original instalment is more than sufficiently enjoyable. Although decent to watch, A Game of Shadows lacks of suspense, overuses the same tricks from the first film and is a little draggy and predictable at some parts. It fails to engage viewers into putting on their thinking caps. With that being said, Hans Zimmer‘s great music compositions for the movie weren’t put to good use. Excellent acting chemistry between Robert Downey Jr. (as Holmes) and Jude Law (as John Watson) but weak performance by Jared Harris as the villain James Moriarty.

Least favourite scene: [SPOILER BEGINS HERE] The one where Holmes, Watson, Sim and the gypsies are being pursued by Moran and his army in the forest. I find the whole slow motion cinematic pointless for the scene. Does it make it more entertaining and impressive? No. Did it make me dizzy? Yes [SPOILER ENDS HERE].

Sequel? The ending does suggest so and despite the disappointment from this instalment, I’d still look forward to it. Better writers may be enough for significant improvements.

The meaning of the title: Holmes is up against someone as good as he is, like his own shadows, and hence A Game of Shadows.

Holmes vs. House: After watching this instalment, I think Hugh Laurie‘s performance as his titular character is more consistently convincing than Robert Downey Jr.‘s as his. The protagonist of the popular TV series House MD, Gregory House, is partly based Sherlock. The English actor manages to his foreign accent episodes after episodes and act magnificently to become one of the world’s favourite TV character.

Malaysian censorship: Only a split second of Mycroft Holmes‘ (Stephen Fry) bare naked butt was cut, I believe.

Rating: 2.5 / 5

Second opinion: “Quite boring at the beginning but it gets interesting later in the movie” (Iris Loong).

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  1. Eric Lee

    average rating? still gonna watch it..haha i enjoyed the chemistry between robert downey jr and jude law as well in the first installment and can't wait to watch it. I do agree that they should get some good script for fact, adapting from the original sherlock series might sound good either..just hope they dun spoil it

  2. Psylancer

    I somehow preferred the plots of the previous movie compared to this, never the less it's still a good watch, but I would prefer to watch it when I was not that sleepy at that time. Almost lost it at a few scenes

  3. Dan O.

    Although all of the freshness that was part of the first one is somewhat over-used, the flick is still a lot of fun with Downey Jr., Harris, and Law breathing life into each of their own characters. However, I was kind of disappointed by Noomi Rapace’s role as she just simply stands there and really doesn’t do anything. Regardless though, good review. Check mine out when you can.

  4. Rahul

    Maybe it is just me but it hard to think of anyone as Sherlock Holmes other than Jeremy Brett, the late actor who played it to near absolute perfection in the BBC granada TV series. That was a work of art so near to the description of Holmes by Sir Doyle that you began to doubt if Sir Doyle had seen Brett through a time machine and written Holmes or vice versa. I have seen many movies and serials of Holmes by various productions but Brett can never be replaced as Holmes. For me, Holmes never dies at Reichenbach Falls (though Doyle was forced to get him back in the Adventure of the empty house). For me, Holmes died the day Brett died. Every great actor or director once in their lifetime gets buried under a tomb of immmortality because of one performance or movie (Ramesh Sippy could never shake off SHOLAY….never). Same with Brett…till his end, he could never be anyone other than Holmes.
    I tried seeing Holmes Part 1 as potrayed by Robert Downey jr…..How does one describe it?Too painful to watch one of the greatest fictional literary figures ever being massacred by mediocrity. I stopped after 20 minutes and went back to the comfort of youtube to see Brett in my favorite story of all…The Adventure of the Dancing Men. No offence against Downey Jr. He may be a fine actor but the nuances you need to play the mad genius of Holmes…..sorry….no way. It's like asking any actor of today to re-enact Vijay Verma of DEEWAR…That was a role that Amitabh was born to play.

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