Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows (2011) Review

Sherlock Holmes, the greatest detective in literature, was brought to the big screen for a modern adaptation several years ago. Guy Ritchie did a great job directing the film, especially by casting Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law as Sherlock Holmes and Watson respectively. After the first film received great reviews and a fantastic reception from fans everywhere, Ritchie brings Holmes back to the big screen in the second film, “A Game of Shadows” where Holmes and Watson square off against their mortal nemesis, Professor Moriarty.

The film starts off following the events of the first film. Watson is about to be married, Holmes is being a hermit and conducting experiments in his apartment, Holmes’ love interest, Irene Adler (Rachel McAdams) is involved in a shady plan, and evil is afoot. There have been a series of bombings all across Europe, leading Holmes to believe that there is a grand scheme in place by some evil doer. His hypothesis is that the bombings are all a part of a grand scheme by the brilliant Professor Moriarty (Jared Harris), a well connected, renowned English Professor who is friends with the English Prime Minister. Nobody would believe that an English icon could be behind the anarchy going on across Europe, except for the eccentric and regularly intoxicated Sherlock Holmes.

The film follows Holmes and Watson as they attempt to foil Moriarty’s plans for World Domination. Holmes is used to being the smartest, always anticipating his opponent’s moves, but the battle of wits and intellect between Holmes and Moriarty proves to be a great challenge. Holmes and Watson get assistance from a variety of people, including Holmes’ brother, Mycroft Holmes, (Stephen Fry) who provides plenty of laughs. The film is very similar to the first one. It provides plenty of action, drama, suspense, and comedy. It is difficult to imagine that so many genres can be reflected in a single film, but Ritchie truly executes well and uses exceptional cinematography to convey the story to viewers.

The acting by Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law is once again phenomenal. Downey puts on an amazing English accent, and is both funny, serious and brilliant. The dynamic between Holmes and Watson is the focal point of the movie and really generates a lot of laughs. The actors play off each other exceptionally well and really do work well together. Jared Harris also does a great job playing Moriarty. He also provides an excellent dynamic with Holmes, and the two actors really show hatred for one another.

The music by Hans Zimmer, and the cinematography and filming style of Guy Ritchie make this film an action packed joy ride. If you are looking for a faithful adaptation of a classic literary work, then this film is NOT for you. It is clearly a modern adaptation featuring plenty of action and laughs. I recommend the film to everyone looking for a film that can make you laugh, cry, and jump out of your seat. It’s definitely worth the price of admission.

Check out the trailer

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