Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows (2011)


Dave’s 3-Word Review:
Similar, but boring.

Once again, let’s talk about the international man of mysteries – Sherlock Holmes. Wait…that’s not right. Anyway, I’ve seen the first film several times, but the second one is probably one I’ve only seen the one time in theater over three years ago…and can’t really remember much about it other than it having Sherlock’s main nemesis as part of the plot – other than that…I drew blanks. So it’s called Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows…but it’s hardly a game I’d care to play too many times.

Alright, so this time around, Mr. Sherlock Holmes is after the nefarious James Moriarty – whose intent seems to be nothing more than to blow things up and be generally evil – while a genius at the same time. That’s basically the entire plot – don’t try to trudge up anything else – it’s a general good guy vs bad guy movie – which is great – if it weren’t for the filler scenes.

This entire film is filled to the brim with unnecessary action scenes and sequences that are there, apparently, just ‘because’. I really enjoy the action in these films, but when they don’t seem to matter in the end… it starts to get difficult to understand. I’m serious, there were more times than not where I was struggling to follow the story. The only things that truly mattered were the moments with James Moriarty – and there weren’t as many of those as you’d probably expect. Instead, there were random fights with random people and random sidelines with gypsies and…it just didn’t add up. Therefore – it just felt long and boring…I was falling asleep amongst the action – which should never happen!

That being said, even the scenes with Moriarty are just…okay. I’m once again drawn back to the issue of trying to compare the movies with the BBC show…and nothing compares to BBC’s Moriarty. Nothing. He was basically Heath Ledger in The Dark Knight – this guy in A Game of Shadows was basically just a typical, disposable evil genius with basic and unspecific plans to be evil in general. His intellect matched Sherlock’s though – which was a plus. I just wished they wrote his character a little more evil than they did.

Were there good scenes? Yes, they were even memorable in parts – like the train sequence and running through the forest in slow motion sequence will particularly be difficult to forget. The casting, again, comes to question though. Just as you start to get used to Rachel McAdams as Irene Adler, you get Noomi Rapace as Madam Simza Heron. I do like Rapace, but I know nothing about her character, and it didn’t really bring a ton of importance to the story either. I didn’t really understand her role…which happens to be the problem with almost everyone else in the film as well…it just didn’t work out very well at all. I mean, Robert Downey Jr. still did his funny thing – and it still worked pretty well…but not so much amongst all of the rest of the garbage in the film.

The one character I obviously recognized was Sherlock’s brother, Mycroft. The representation of his character by Stephen Fry was just plain weird. Walking around his house naked talking to guests – making jokes just like Sherlock would…he was just like a fatter and slightly dumber version of Sherlock himself…which isn’t how I’m used to seeing his character…so I felt a little weird watching that unfold.

The Good:

It’s kind of cool to see RDJ get back into the role of the sarcastic, fighting Sherlock Holmes – and it’s even cooler to see his arch nemesis make a main appearance in the sequel.

The Bad:

It’s really just a boring movie. There is a lot of action sequences and funny moments, but other than that…it feels really, really pointless. The main aspects of the story are there – they just aren’t the main focus – and so by the end you might be asleep.

2 thoughts on “Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows (2011)

  1. I think Sherlock may have changed up the way Moriarty and Mycroft were in the books. Remember in the pilot (spoilers for those who haven’t seen the Sherlock pilot) they tried to trick you into thinking Mycroft was Moriarty.


  2. Good review. I just want to mention that I disagree with you (with full respect for your opinion of course). I actually prefer “A game of Shadows” over the first movie. I don’t really know why, I just do. But I am not gonna shun your opinion for being different from mine.


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