¨Slow and steady wins the race. ¨
How can you go wrong with a movie involving one of the best literary detective characters ever? And if that isn`t enough consider having Robert Downey Jr. playing that part. It seems these two guys were meant to go together (although I guess I can say the same thing for him and Tony Starks). Downey Jr. is just a great actor with a perfect sense of comedic timing. Sherlock Holmes isn`t a great movie, but it`s really a lot of fun. It has plenty of action scenes, interesting characters, and a lot of funny moments. Add Guy Ritchie to the mix and you have the perfect popcorn flick. Sherlock Holmes may not be Snatch or Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels, but it does live up to the original film. This sequel is perhaps a little lighter and easier to follow which allows for a better pace, but it also is much simpler and the plot pretty plain. What makes this movie stand out from other ordinary action films are the actors and the action scenes. Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law have great chemistry together and they share a lot of funny scenes. Jared Harris provided a decent villain who could compete alongside Holmes with his intelligence. Noomi Rapace who really shined in the Swedish Millennium trilogy, doesn`t really stand out in this movie and doesn’t do much since she isn’t given an interesting character. I think she is misused here and it`s too bad because she is really a talented actress. The screenplay written by Michele and Kieran Mulroney is pretty solid. A Game of Shadows is a decent sequel and is a fun movie, but it does have several flaws nonetheless.
We are back in 1891 London right where the first film left us. Sherlock Holmes (Robert Downey Jr.) believes that Professor James Moriarty (Jared Harris) is responsible for a series of bombings across Europe that is threatening world peace. No one else seems to suspect Moriarty is involved and the press believes a group of anarchists are responsible for the explosions so Holmes decides to investigate on his own. Moriarty isn`t pleased to find out Holmes has been disrupting some of his plans. Irene (Rachel McAdams) continues to work for Moriarty delivering certain packages for people who sometimes end up dead, but Holmes gets in the way a couple of times. Meanwhile, Watson (Jude Law) is back visiting Holmes the day before his wedding expecting to celebrate his bachelor`s party, but Holmes has other plans. He has intercepted a message from Irene for a gypsy named Simza Heron (Noomi Rapace) and wants to find out what the Professor might be planning. At the bar Holmes saves Heron`s life after discovering that Moriarty wants her dead since her brother who works for him has been sending some messages to his sister. Watson doesn`t get the bachelor party he was expecting, but he makes it to the wedding the next morning. The honeymoon will also be interrupted after Moriarty threatens Watson and his wife, so Holmes decides it`s time to save his best friend by throwing Watson`s wife (Kelly Reilly) off the train and having her rescued by his brother Mycroft (Stephen Fry) while he and the doctor try to stop the Professor from beginning a World War.
Like the first film, Sherlock Holmes is very grayish, since that is probably what London looked like during 1891, although this time we get to travel all over Europe as Holmes chases Moriarty from one place to another. The plot is way more simplistic than the first film, but the action sequences are very similar. Ritchie always includes these sort of really fast paces action scenes with a lot of editing (which I`m not a really huge fan of since sometimes it`s hard to follow what`s going on with so much cutting and pasting. There are also some slow motion scenes which are sort of cool looking, but also a bit distracting. I think the best part of the series is the performances from Downey Jr. and Jude Law. This is what makes the franchise work and makes for an entertaining film. The action mixed with the comedy works really well and makes this an enjoyable movie experience. A Game of Shadows isn`t one of the best movies of the years, and it isn`t very memorable either, but it was a lot of fun and much better than other action films. It is very similar to the first film so if you enjoyed that one you will definitely like this sequel, and if you didn`t than I don`t think you will really be interested in seeing this because it follows pretty much the same design. The costume design in this movie is also pretty good, and it was fun to see Robert wearing all sorts of costumes throughout the film. A Game of Shadows is fun and you won`t be disappointed.