Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows

Sherlock Holmes and his sidekick Dr. Watson join forces to outwit and bring down their fiercest adversary, Professor Moriarty.

IMDb [7.6]

RottenTomatoes [60%, 46%]

In 2009, Guy Ritchie [Snatch., Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels] came out with Sherlock Holmes, which set a new personal record for me: most times I’ve fallen asleep trying to watch one movie. I started that movie five times before finally getting through the whole thing without dosing off into a deep sleep of boredom. I’m not sure what specifically was the cause of my lack of entertainment, but there wasn’t anything specific that was actually entertaining either. Despite that fact, these are big grossing movies, and I feel obligated to watch and review something of this scale. Hell, there’s always a chance for a new Guilty Pleasure out there.

Robert Downey Jr. [Iron Man, Kiss Kiss Bang Bang] is back as Sherlock Holmes, the remarkably intelligent and quirky private detective, along with Jude Law [Cold Mountain, Enemy at the Gates] as Holmes’ sidekick John Watson. This time, Holmes is working on a new career making case, trying to hunt down professor James Moriarty, played by Jared Harris [Mad Men] who is linked to several murders around the world. Rachel McAdams [Midnight in Paris, Wedding Crashers] also returns as the on-again/off-again mistress to Holmes, Irene Adler. Stephen Fry makes an appearance as Holmes’ brother Mycroft, a fellow genius.

If you are a fan of Arthur Conan Doyle’s original creation[s] of Sherlock Holmes, than you know this barely holds as an adaptation. While using many familiar characters and plot ideas, this does not feel like a real Sherlock Holmes installment, nor did the first film. I think in order for one to find entertainment in this film, I think you must think of it as a new creation. Given the same general premise of the character Sherlock Holmes and keeping all the other works out of your mind, I think one is able to enjoy this film.

But just a little bit.

This film, just like the first, I found unable to really hold my attention and interest. It is kind of a mystery story, but the information and clues were bland, the only captivation coming between the meat of the story when the action mostly takes place. The method used to show Holmes’ trail of thought when fighting and figuring out specific things is an cool idea, but the execution is too jumpy and confusing. I think Downey Jr. is really well cast for this role, but the role was not made as good as it could have been.

There’s not much to say. This is a cookie-cutter sequel to the 2009 film and fails in all of the same areas. I nearly fell asleep again trying to watch this.


As a side note, there is another current reincarnation of the Sherlock Holmes story, and that is BBC’s Sherlock. It is a story of Sherlock Holmes living in modern day England, and the stories and acting are both really good, and makes for some really fun viewing. Each episode is one and a half hours, so they are almost movies in themselves.

If anyone is interested in watching the first season, it is available on Netflix Instant Watch.


My Rating

 1/4 – Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows is a cookie-cutter sequel to the 2009 film and fails in all of the same areas.


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