Robert Downey Jr Weekend – Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows (2011) Movie Review

Director: Guy Ritchie

Writer: Michele Mulroney, Kieran Mulroney (Screenplay) Arthur Conan Doyle (Characters)

Starring: Robert Downey Jr, Jude Law, Noomi Rapace, Rachel McAdams, Jared Harris, Stephen Fry

Plot: Detective Sherlock Holmes is on the trail of criminal mastermind Professor Moriarty, who is carrying out a string of random crimes across Europe.

Runtime: 2 Hours 9 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Feels Like a Game I Lost

Story: Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows starts with Sherlock Holmes (Downey Jr) on the tail of Professor Moriarty (Harris) following Irene Adler (McAdams) around believing there is an involvement in the terrorist attacks going across Europe.

Back home Sherlock has forgotten his responsibility to be the best man for Dr Watson’s (Law) wedding and ends up dragging him into the battle with Moriarty, one that is getting out of his control.

Thoughts on Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows

Characters – Sherlock Holmes has become entrapped in a battle of wits with Moriarty, this has seen him turn to disguise to elude him, turning to the one person he knows he can trust to help him, Dr Watson, he will risk his life to uncover the truth using his ability to see what will happen. Dr Watson is about to get married and is left disappointed by Sherlock for not preparing his part in the wedding preparations, he reluctantly joins Sherlock in the battle against Moriarty. Madam Heron finds herself caught in the middle of the battle with her brother going missing after working with Moriarty. Professor Moriarty is considered one of Holmes greatest rivals, here we see him in the middle of a grand plan which has seen Europe on the verge of war, always staying ahead of Holmes, letting him investigate just what he wants him to.

PerformancesRobert Downey Jr is mostly annoying in this role, he is trying to make Sherlock quirky and it just doesn’t seem to work. Jude Law is solid enough in the sidekick role, without making Holmes seem very interesting. Noomi Rapace does everything she needs to without making an impact in the film. Jared Harris is the most interesting performance in the film, with him needing to be calculated throughout.

StoryThe story here follows Sherlock Holmes facing off against his most famous enemy Professor Moriarty as he tries to uncover his plan which takes Holmes around Europe to do battle with the calculated villain. Now the first problem here comes from the fact the story is told with way too many, if you see it from this angle you will learn the truth, without giving us any hint that this is going on. When it comes to the back and fourth between the two, we are left wondering just how they got into the rivalry in the first place, wondering why Holmes and Watson have become separate after all these years. We don’t seem to get a true threat of Moriarty either, which should see him getting the upper hand a lot more, we are left feeling like this story does drag along for too long.

Action/MysteryThe action in this film does feel frustrating because nearly all the best bits are shot as if they have happened and then rewind it for something else, with the mystery in the film just not being as interesting as it should be.

SettingsThe film does use the era based settings well enough be it London or Paris which does make it understandable that bigger plans are in play.

Special EffectsThe effects are what are used for the rewinds, they don’t help make the action entertaining in anyway, leaving us feeling empty by the end of the film.


Scene of the Movie – Didn’t have one.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – How quirky Sherlock is made to be.

Final Thoughts This is a disappointing version of one of the most famous fictional detectives, it is shot badly leaving us all over the place.

Overall: Bad version of Holmes.

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