Robert Downey, Jr. as Sherlock Holmes and Jude Law as Dr. Watson return to take on the evil Prof. Moriarty (Jared Harris). Find out more in the review of Sherlock Holmes: A Game Of Shadows.

Sherlock Holmes A Game of Shadows Movie Poster
Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows Movie Poster

Business rating: 2/5 stars

Star cast: Robert Downey, Jr., Jude Law, Noomi Rapace, Rachel McAdams, Jared Harris, Stephen Fry, Kelly Rielly.

What’s Good: The engaging action scenes; the scenes of one-upmanship between Robert Downey, Jr. and Jared Harris; the cinematography; the dialogues.

What’s Bad: The confusing plot and the story which seems to stretch a bit, both towards the end.

Verdict: Sherlock Holmes: A Game Of Shadows is a fair entertainer which will do good business, especially in the Indian cities.

Loo break: None.

Watch or Not?: Definitely watch Sherlock Holmes: A Game Of Shadows for Robert Downey, Jr.’s performance and the engaging action scenes.

Warner Bros. Pictures’ Sherlock Holmes: A Game Of Shadows is based on the battle of mind and mettle of the legendary detective, Sherlock Holmes, and his dangerous adversary, James Moriarty.

The sequel to Sherlock Holmes (2009) starts off with Holmes (Robert Downey, Jr.) intercepting a package meant for Irene Adler (Rachel McAdams). Dr. John Watson (Jude Law) comes to bid his roommate and friend (Holmes) goodbye as he is betrothed to Mary (Kelly Rielly), but Watson soon gets entangled in the package case, with Holmes.

Holmes suspects that there is a common thread in the recent assassinations, terrorist attacks and business acquisitions in Europe. He goes to meet the mysterious gypsy, Madam Simza Heron (Noomi Rapace), who was supposed to receive Irene’s package, but ends up rescuing her from an assassin. After Simza manages to escape, Holmes confronts Professor Moriarty as he suspects him of being the common link.

Moriarty turns out to be a dangerous nemesis – as brilliant, if not more, as Holmes. When Moriarty threatens to kill Watson and his newly-wedded wife, Holmes sets out to rescue them. Holmes sends Mary off to his brother, Mycroft’s house, while he (Holmes) and Watson set out to Paris to locate Simza. On sleuthing around a little bit, they uncover that Moriarty has been using an anarchist group in Germany to carry out the murders and attacks.

What is the real reason behind Moriarty’s deeds? Has Holmes met his ultimate sinister opponent in Moriarty? Will he be able to foil the latter’s plans? The answer is played out in the rest of the movie.

Sherlock Holmes A Game of Shadows Movie Stills

Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows Review: Script Analysis

For those who expect the contemplative and morose Sherlock Holmes of the book, Robert Downey, Jr.’s character will be bit of a surprise. But since it is a Guy Ritchie film, viewers will know what they are in for.

The script and screenplay, by Michele Mulroney and Kieran Mulroney, have borrowed generously from Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s stories. The writers have done a clever job of using the typical twists and deduction techniques from Doyle’s stories, to make their own additions to the action-mystery narrative.

However, the writers muddle up the plot by introducing too many characters and twists. Watson and Holmes’ travels – from England to Paris to Berlin to Switzerland – begin to get confusing after a point, as do the numerous henchmen of Moriarty. There are also some unexplained parts in the story. How did Sherlock narrow down his suspects to Moriarty? If Moriarty was so sharp, how could he allow Simza’s brother to send her a sketch of himself? Why would the world leaders ignore such a serious threat to world peace? However, it must be said that Holmes and Watson’s witty interactions are entertaining.

Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows Review: Star Performances

As the genius, obsessive detective, Robert Downey, Jr. is simply excellent. He changes colour with effortless ease, as is the demand of the character. Jude Law is also good as his sidekick, John Watson. Noomi Rapace, as Madam Simza Heron, and Rachel McAdams, as Irene Adler, are okay. Jared Harris should have been more sinister as Moriarty. Stephen Fry (as Mycroft Holmes) and Kelly Rielly (as Mary Watson) fit their roles very well.

Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows Review: Direction & Technical Aspects

Guy Ritchie’s direction is very good. His action sequences are excellent and worth looking forward to. The only gripe is that even halfway through the movie, you’re left wondering what the actual plot is. Philippe Rousselot’s cinematography is fine. Hans Zimmer’s background score is simply superb. Editing, by James Herbert, is good. Sarah Greenwood’s production design is wonderful.

Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows Review: The Last Word

On the whole, Sherlock Holmes: A Game Of Shadows is an exciting fare for Guy Ritchie and action fans. It’ll do fair business at the Indian box-office.

Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows Trailer

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