Sherlock Holmes: a Game of Shadows Movie Review
Sherlock Holmes started out in the books as a clever and talented detective, but the movie Sherlock Holmes: a Game of Shadows has taken this character in a whole new direction. Sherlock, portrayed by Robert Downy, Jr., is now an antisocial and careless man who uses his mind to annoy other people and fight enemies. Now this will probably turn off many Sherlock book lovers, but it does introduce the character to a whole new audience. If you are looking for a movie with comical aspects, this is a great film for you. The movie also has some entertaining action scenes where Sherlock fights his enemies with his extensive knowledge. However, most of the fight scenes are very hard to follow because the movie shows how Sherlock thinks through the entire fight and sees the outcome. As a result, by the end of the movie, I couldn’t tell what was “planning” and what was actually happening.
This movie has several great comical aspects, such as cross-dressing, wife throwing, crazy gun fights, naked brother-in-laws, around-the house camouflage, and even dying dogs that come back to life. Throughout the entire movie, Robert Downy, Jr. is doing something that annoys Watson and makes the audience fall out of their seats laughing. Although Mycroft Holmes, played by Stephen Fry, being naked in a scene was funny, his character seems unnecessary most of the time, and it takes away from the overall story.
There are great fight scenes involving various weapons including machine guns, sticks, and even fists. Sherlock examines every move he makes and fights anywhere he can. He even runs throughout a casino in a fight during Watson’s stag party. Holmes’ enemy, Professor Moriarty, played by Jared Harris is brought into this movie as a villain who is responsible for many deaths around the world. He is almost as clever and intelligent as Sherlock, and the professor tries outwitting Watson and Holmes in many ways (torture, chess, plastic surgery, and even throwing him off a cliff) as he attempts assassinations, but Sherlock always seems to prevail, even when you think there is no hope. We also see Watson’s skill with a gun. Some parts of the movie are rather gruesome, namely, a hook through the body – and Robert Downy, Jr. in a dress!
Most of the effects were good, producing an impressive sense of mystery and action and romance in the parts of the film that required it, although some parts were over the top and actually ridiculous. This is shown especially in the slow-motion scenes.
All in all, I think this wasn’t a bad movie. However, it has lost the classic Sherlock Holmes character that many people know and love. As long as you pay close attention to it, you won’t get too lost and you may actually enjoy it. Many parts were incredibly stupid, but if you focus on the action and comedy, it is a bearable movie.