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Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows

Sherlock Holmes: A Game Of Shadows: Heavy on Action, Light on Plot

  • Jude LawNoomi Rapace...
  • Action & Adventure
  • Guy Ritchie
reviewed by
Yasmin Shehab
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Sherlock Holmes: A Game Of Shadows: Heavy on Action, Light on Plot

Holmes (Downey Jr.) and Watson (Law) have reached the end of their
partnership. Watson’s getting married and, as a consequence, Holmes is feeling
rather abandoned. Holmes uncovers an evil plot by their arch nemesis Professor
James Moriarty (Harris) to break out a world war by escalating tensions between
France and Germany. He owns both the weapon factories and the medicine
factories and is out to create a market for them. Upon discovering that
Moriarty intends to harm both Watson and his new bride, Holmes brings Watson
back into the field one last time. Aided by Madam Simza (Rapace), a gypsy woman
whose brother has become one of Moriarty’s main pawns, they set off to thwart his plan
and save her brother.

Downey Jr.’s Holmes is another one of those cocky, eccentric characters
that seem to be set aside for either him or Johnny Depp. And while Downey Jr.
does a pretty good English accent, he’s pretty incomprehensible, which is
unfortunate when he’s the one explaining the whole plot with all its twists.
Now about those twists; while you sort of understand the logic behind them
while the film’s playing, putting the whole plot together afterwards shows how
messy it is. In hindsight, the twists are rather baffling until you realise that
they’re just a way of connecting the action sequences together. However, on the
plus side, the film is shot beautifully, which does distract you from the weird
plot. The film has fun with the costumes especially in the scenes where Holmes
works on a camouflage costume allowing him to blend in with the scenery. The
dreary, blue palette is rather gorgeous and so is the liberal use of ultra slow
motion.

The film is stuffed with fights. Both Holmes and Watson are equally well-versed
in both martial arts and gun wielding to the point where they could probably
take out an army if they were so inclined. Holmes plays out these elaborate
schemes in his head where he plans out his exact moves before he goes ahead and
knocks everyone out. This gimmick, while an effective portrayal of Holmes’
famed analytical side, does get slightly boring after the first few times.
Watson and Holmes are a pretty badass duo; they just don’t have anything in common
with the original characters, nor are they distinctive enough to establish
themselves independently.

The best that can be said about this film is that it’s slightly more
interesting than the first instalment. But other than that, it’s really just
more of the same. Instead of the real Sherlock Holmes, we get some kind of
psychotic, antisocial, mumbling genius who goes by the same name. It’s like an
old-fashioned Bond film without the sex. All in all, they’re pretty generic
characters for a pretty generic film.

Like This? Try

Casino Royale, Indiana Jones, Iron Man

360 Tip

The film is mainly based on the Sherlock Holmes short story The Final Problem by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, though it does include some aspects from some of the other stories.

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