Film Review: Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows

Fair warning! Before you read any further, this post may contain spoilers! Read at your own risk!

As is the custom that my friends and I have, last night we went out for our annual Christmas Night movie. I was shocked at how many people were actually at the theater, actually. Guess, our tradition is becoming more commonplace than it was a few years ago. 

Anyway, our movie of choice for this year was Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows. Now, I must admit that I wasn’t really thrilled with the first one. I found quite a lot of bothersome things about it film making wise and there were some choices they made that really made me cringe. And with my recent obsession with the BBC’s Sherlock, I was actually quite worried that this movie would be just bad.

I must say, I was pleasantly surprised. It almost felt like they had heard me complaining about the last one and took my most of my comments to heart when putting the second one into production. One of my biggest critiques of the first movie was that they did this slow motion breakdown of how Holmes thinks about things and it was interesting, but they only did it once. It seemed like a total gimmick. Well, they fixed that in the second one. They used it many more times and sometimes they even proved an alternate to what Holmes was thinking due to the actions of others around him that he didn’t anticipate.

While the plot itself wasn’t very true to the canon, it was an amusing storyline and I was able to distance myself enough for nitpicking to actually enjoy the movie. Honestly, Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows is an action movie and less of Holmes helping Scotland Yard solve crimes (which he didn’t do at all in this film). But, for the most part the action sequences are well choreographed and shot well. The one exception to this being when the heros are running through the woods and there are a lot of slow motion shots with bullets flying and hitting things. I thought that this effect was highly overdone.

The relationship between Holmes and Watson in this movie was actually one of the most interesting aspects of the movie. There was a lot of sexual tension between the two, even with Watson getting married and for the most part I thought it worked. Sometime, though it was extremely over the top. I did, however, really like the fact that Watson’s wife, Mary, actually became a relatively strong female character (even if she wasn’t in the movie all of the time).

I thought the movie fell short when it actually came to Holmes and Watson being “Holmes and Watson”-like. The characters are actually nothing like the ones I have pictured in the canon. But, they are definitely a dynamic duo and I’m amused enough with that.

Overall, I do recommend that people see this film and I’m very sorry that my review is no where near as great as some of the other ones I’ve written. I think it’s due to the fact that what really sold me on this film was the ending. There was a brief moment that I just absolutely loved and would make me see it again. But, you have to accept this film for what it is. The film doesn’t follow the canon, it is an action film, and Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law play up the theory that Holmes and Watson are gay much more than any other duo (but they at least have fun doing it). If you’re willing to accept that, then it is a decent enough movie.

2 responses to “Film Review: Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows”

  1. First of all, I want to say this is a very interesting and neat blog, I look forward to reading more.

    Secondly, good review! While I did not love the first of this series I did enjoy it, and hope the second follows in its footsteps.

    1. As Directed By Becky Avatar
      As Directed By Becky

      Hi Matt!

      I’m glad you like my blog. Many of my posts will most likely be about films that I’ve seen in theaters or have rented on my own, but I’ll also be peppering it with adventures that I tend to have.

      As for the review. I’m glad you liked it. Usually, I’m a bit more critical when writing them, but I couldn’t get a good voice for this film because I’m was in the middle for most of the film except the ending…which is what honestly sold me on seeing it again in the near future. I think that it definitely follows in the first films footsteps and is actually even better than the first one.


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