Home > Movies > SHERLOCK HOLMES: A GAME OF SHADOWS – Movie Review


I was a big fan of the first Sherlock Holmes.  It was entertaining, slick, and featured great performances, namely Robert Downey Jr. as the title role.  So with that mindset, I had a decent amount of interest for the new installment, Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows.  Unfortunately, it doesn’t branch out enough from its predecessor to become a sufficient sequel.

The film follows Holmes and Watson (Jude Law) back together, taking on a new case.  This time around, the duo are out to stop a series of bombings, linked to one Professor Moriarty (Jared Harris).  These bombings are a part of Moriarty’s master plan to start a world war, so it’s up to Holmes and Watson, along with the help of a gypsy (Noomi Rapace) to prevent this plan from going into full effect.

The biggest issue with this film is that it doesn’t succeed as a sequel.  The general rule with sequels is to bring familiar elements and things we enjoyed from the previous installment, while also expanding upon said elements.  Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows doesn’t do the latter in the slightest, therefore causing all of the strong elements from the first movie to become stale.

The plotline is also unnecessarily convoluted, messily structured, and it felt as if it held back from giving the audience certain pieces of information until the end of the film, in hopes that the ending would potentially surprise them.  Sure, they were surprised, but it’s more frustrating than it is clever.

The film does have some strong points, most notably director Guy Ritchie’s unique visual style, a device that Ritchie used in the first film that’s actually nice to see brought back.  He showcases action incredibly well, cutting between slow and fast movement within a matter of seconds.  Two set pieces showcase this device very well, one taking place on a train, and the other taking place in a forest.

The film isn’t terrible by any means, but had a sharper, easier-to-grasp screenplay been at hand, ultimately bringing something new to the series, this would have been a much more successful sequel.


  1. badgrammarreviews
    December 16, 2011 at 10:05 pm

    Great review

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