Sherlock Holmes 2: A Game of Shadows Movie Review (2011)

The first Sherlock Holmes film was all kinds of awesome: kinetic action scenes, superb acting, great humour and a solid story which served up the relationship between Holmes and Watson to perfection.

In many ways, it captured the awe and excitement of watching an Indiana Jones movie for the first time.

The second one tries to re-create the elements that made the first a success but with mixed results in comparison.

The good: the relationship between Holmes and Watson survives in the writing. It’s a joy to see Jude and Robert’s domestic fights percolate and bubble under gunfire and high-octane action scenes. Director Ritchie’s visuals have once again found the perfect vehicle – as an aside, I wonder how he’d fare on the next Bond. Jared Harris silently steals the show as Moriarty with controlled and calculated menace in contrast to the zany Holmes.

The bad: the action scenes are amped way up and there are more of them, so much so that at times it does feel like you’re watching nothing but a series of them all taped together. The plot is also frayed: Moriarty does have a plan, but confusion surrounds how Holmes is actually going about thwarting it as you’re watching it.

The bad doesn’t detract from the enjoyment of the film overall. It’s fun while it lasts and is inventive enough to hold your attention.

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