Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows (2011)

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IMDb Rating
7.5 out of 10 (view IMDb page)

Sherlock Holmes and his sidekick Dr. Watson join forces to outwit and bring down their fiercest adversary, Professor Moriarty.

  • Not Rated Yet
(Based on 0 Ratings)
MPAA Rating:
129 Minutes
Action, Adventure, Crime, Mystery, Thriller
Guy Ritchie">
Michele Mulroney
Kieran Mulroney
and 1 more credit

Weekly Volcano's Review

Rev. Adam McKinney on December 14th, 2011

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To let you in on a not-so-little secret: the most difficult film to write about is the one that is just OK. S***y films are the most fun to recount, and great films are the most rewarding.

When encountered with the second Sherlock Holmes movie, it's tempting to sit back and remark that your dad will really like the film, and just be done with it. This is an action-adventure movie that utilizes the bare-bones of Sherlock Holmes in order to craft a rollicking mystery that involves little to no mystery and extensive supplies of early firearms.

As in the first film, Sherlock Holmes (Robert Downey Jr.) is a martial arts expert. If one knows that the director is Guy Ritchie, one suspects that the director is only involved for those scenes when Holmes can cut loose and crush the throat of a great many adversaries in slow motion. Such is the nature of this new Holmes. Brief mention is made of Holmes chewing coca leaves, but nothing ever approaches Holmes' documented cocaine addiction. And it doesn't need to, really. This film, after all, is about rollicking, and very little else.

As hinted at toward the end of the first film, Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows deals mainly with Holmes confronting his arch nemesis, Professor Moriarty (Jared Harris), who yearns to invent the military industrial complex, through remarkably contrived means. Holmes aims to stop him - mostly for vanity, but also to prevent a world war. Along for the ride is the newly married Dr. Watson (Jude Law). Much was made, at the release of the first film, of a certain winking homoeroticism between Holmes and Watson, an element which has only been cheekily heightened. Little doubt is given that these two men have a very special relationship. When Holmes is wearing makeup and beckoning Watson to lie with him, A Game of Shadows is playfully calling attention to the closeness of such a relationship, and what it means now that Watson has married and separated himself from the life of sleuthing.

Ultimately, Sherlock Holmes is a fun little movie that fails several times in tonally crucial ways. It's too excited with itself to create an emotionally compelling film, and so it exists as passably light entertainment. What works works, and what doesn't doesn't. Fortunately, the good outweighs the bad, and the result is an decent movie to watch with relatives during the holidays - for what that's worth. - Three out of four  stars

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