Movie review: Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows

Zachary Brenner

Staff Writer

In 2009, Sherlock Holmes, the famous detective from Arthur Conan Doyle’s novels, was turned into an action-packed blockbuster, worldwide phenomenon and humorous Hollywood motion picture. After a huge success in 2009, director Guy Ritchie and his crew did not hesitate to make a sequel. However, maybe they should have taken a bit more time to plan out the movie before releasing it.

Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows takes you to England during the 1890s, where a series of bombings — supposedly planned by anarchists — are set off.  After a prolonged period of time, Holmes composes a theory that these attacks were in fact planned by Professor Moriarty, Holmes’ most intellectual and difficult nemesis.

When Sherlock Holmes was released in 2009, people were skeptical about the movie because it would not feature Professor Moriarty. But excitement boosted after the film was released when the possibility of a sequel became evident. I think that the sequel was not even close to the standard of the first movie. Frankly, it was a disappointment.

When the first film hinted that Professor Moriarty would be in the sequel, I had thought that the movie would be interesting and more closely connected to Conan Doyle’s original creation. However, unlike the first film, I found myself confused as to what the plot actually was, even an hour into the movie. I also found it hard to understand the reasoning behind some of the scenes, displaying characters’ seemingly impossible — and even inhuman — abilities, including surviving a fatal situation and mindreading.


Watch a scene from the movie.

There were parts, however, particularly during the second half, that grabbed my attention. Once the movie set off and started to take a faster pace, displaying numerous action-packed and humorous scenes, I was hooked into the excitement that I felt while watching the first Sherlock Holmes in 2009.

Although I found the writing of this movie to be a bit of a setback, the acting by Robert Downey Jr. (Sherlock Holmes), Jude Law (Holmes’ best friend, Dr. Watson) and Jared Harris (Professor Moriarty), was all in all excellent. I have not seen a performance yet where Downey Jr. fails to capture his character and deliver a memorable and enjoyable performance.

I would say that this movie is slightly above the caliber of an average Hollywood action film. I would suggest this movie to people who like action and silly yet witty humor. But for those who were fans of the first Sherlock Holmes, I’m afraid you’re in for a rather disappointing sequel.

Grade: C+