Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows

by Shannon and Michael December 20th, 2011 | Action, In-Theater Reviews
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In Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows, we re-join Holmes (Robert Downey Jr.) and Watson (Jude Law) in another pursuit of a notorious villain. In this case, it’s Professor James Moriarty (Jared Harris) who seeks to push France and Germany into war for his own benefit.

He Said:
I feel that the Sherlock Holmes films are going down the path of The Pirates of the Caribbean, where it feels like the sequel was just more of the same, but for some reason with the Sherlock Holmes storyline, it doesn’t bother me. I loved the first Sherlock Holmes with Robert Downey and Jude Law and I loved this one. I like seeing how Holmes breaks down the minutest details to solve the underlying mystery, and the lines in the movie are witty and funny. The story and character interaction alone is enough for me to want to see this movie, but the stop-motion filming makes for an even more suspenseful and action-packed adventure that is incredibly entertaining to watch. The film just contains all the components that make for a successful film: a good story with actors who can deliver a believable performance, witty humor, and lots of action with great special effects.

My Rating: Worth seeing on the big screen.

She Said:
This sequel is just as decadent as the first film. There were countless explosions, constant film speed changes, and a dangerous mystery that needed to be solved. It almost looked the same steampunk film we saw in 2009 but for one saving grace – the bromance between Holmes and Watson. The interplay between Holmes and Watson felt a little more familiar this time around, making me feel a little more connected to the characters.

I also liked Holmes’ opponent, Professor Moriarty. With absolutely no regard for anyone in his path, Moriarty had the mental fortitude and cunning to be a truly formidable foe for Holmes, making the plot twists and turns enjoyable. I don’t like movies where I can predict everything the villain is going to do, and Moriarty kept me guessing. The only thing I wasn’t wowed with was Jared Harris’ overly refined portrayal of the character – it felt as if he was holding back a bit. In my opinion, he didn’t have enough of a sinister energy to feel like a real threat to Holmes.

The fight scenes were excellently choreographed (as expected), but they didn’t feel like the same rehashed scenes from the first movie. Somehow, director Guy Ritchie managed to make them feel fresh. The slow motion effects might be considered a bit gimmicky, but you know what? I don’t care – they were visually stunning and plain old-fashioned fun.

My only complaint about the film is that it dragged a little after the enthralling opening. I had to fight to stay focused on the plot, but once the movie got past the sluggish spots, it was wildly entertaining.

My Rating: Worth seeing on the big screen.

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