Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows is Indubitably Fantastic

“You didn’t find me. You collapsed a building on me.”


Photo courtesy of IMDB

Solomon Kenworthy

      Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows was released in 2011, and was directed by Guy Rithce. Sherlock Holmes and his trusty sidekick, Dr. Watson must thwart the scheme of Professor James Moriarty, who is committing acts of terror across Europe. 

     Robert Downey Jr.’s performance as the title character is absolutely fantastic. He brings a certain baun to the character that isn’t found in any other incarnation of Holmes on screen. His over-eccentric attitude as Holmes makes the audience feel as if they’re with the supporting characters, in terms of reactions. Downey’s opposite, Jarred Harris, is also brilliant as Professor Moriarty. They play off one another very well. The rest of the cast including Jude Law as Doctor Watson, and Stephen Fry as Mycroft Holmes, are really good. 

     The writing does a good job at making you feel invested and on the edge of your seat. The script relies heavily on the idea of Chekhov’s Gun, that if you’re going to shoot someone in the third act, you introduce the gun in the first. This works to the film’s benefit, except for the scene where they set things up, which is clearly there for nothing but exposition. There is also a part at the end, where Holmes and Moriarty share a “moment,” that’s supposed to be cool, but really makes less than zero sense. 

     Guy Ritche brings his signature directing to this franchise once again. The scenes where Holmes is considering his next move are shot really well. There were a few shots that reminded me of Wes Anderson’s directing, oddly enough. Those small shots are odd, but they don’t completely take you out of the movie. Also, Hans Zimmer’s score is very good.

     Overall, Ritche’s second Sherlock Holmes film is very well made. I personally prefer it to the first one.


[My grade for Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows is a B-]