Review: Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows

Robert Downey Jr., Noomi Rapace and Jude Law in Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows

Mind games of two level-headed geniuses

Rating: ***

Guy Ritchie’s sequel to 2009’s Sherlock Holmes doesn’t disappoint. It adds more depth to Holmes. Based on Arthur Conan Doyle’s The Final Problem, the film follows Holmes as he battles a Victorian megalomaniac who poses a bigger threat than Lord Blackwood did in the first film. Yet, Jared Harris’ Professor Moriarty is less convincing when compared to Mark Strong’s Lord Blackwood. Swedish star, Noomi Rapace plays Simza, a Parisian fortune-telling gypsy who despite her entertaining sword fights doesn’t match up to Irene Adler from the first film.

While I initially chose not to compare the sequel and the prequel, I felt both films weren’t in the same level. While the first film was in the true Guy Ritchie essence, the second one becomes something that today’s influenced directors would do. Ritchie does dabble in eye candy CGI which he uses extensively in the penultimate forest battle that features Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law sprinting in slow motion as bullets and bombs graze past them, and splinters of wood erupt from the trees.

Ah! Bromance!

Downey Jr.’s Sherlock Holmes is portrayed as a fashion designer and a horticulturist. When did this bohemian detective ever become socially enthusiastic? And the scenes having him dress as a woman are mere gags. They don’t appeal much and when they do, they’re in lesser portions. One of the highlights of the first film, the bromance (brotherly romance) is least exploited.

Ritchie ensures upfront that this film is rather more serious when compared to the prequel. From tough fisticuffs to tougher gunfire, Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows is in its own way a good film. Running for two hours, the film doesn’t fail to entertain you. It’s just that you don’t get what the first film gave you – sheer delight.

I’m telling you again – this is a good film, and a darker sequel. 

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