6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Sherlock Holmes: Game of Shadows - Another entertaining romp from Downey and Ritchie,
This review is from: Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows [DVD + UV Copy]  (DVD)
Over the years the character of Sherlock Holmes has been translated onto screen in a variety of ways - true to Conan Doyle's original (Jeremy Brett), as a comic figure (Michael Caine), as a propaganda instrument (Basil Rathbone) and by a host of others in ways too numerous to mention here. But of all of them, this has to be the most fun.
Guy Ritchie's vision of the Holmes legend manages to get a few names, the odd line and occasional detail from the books, but most of the character of Holmes has been reinvented into Robert Downey Jr's very knowing hero. Watson is transformed into much more of a man of action in one of Jude Law's better performances, and it is good to see the Doctor portrayed as a dependable intelligent man capable of his own thought and action, rather than the blind bumbling fool he is often seen as. There is also a fun cameo for Stephen Fry as Mycroft (the interplay between Holmes and Mycroft seems to give a wink to the execrable Peter Cook/Dudley Moore spoof, if Ritchie watched that film as part of his research then I tip my hat to him for his diligence and willingness to suffer for his art!). Ritchie's directorial vision of a Victorian London just starting to enter the modern age, especially with the pictures of the construction of great monuments and buildings we all take for granted today, is definitely refreshing.
With an almost steam punk atmosphere to his vision of Europe, Ritchie weaves a tale around Holmes' struggle against the machinations of a certain Prof. Moriarty, of infamous memory. Moriarty, played with a gleeful evilness by Jared Harris is an opponent worthy of Holmes, and the final face off between the two is very well realised. Utilising his reinvention of the characters to its utmost Ritcie gives us a well paced action film full of twists, turns, surprised and comedy. It's slick, it's fun, and it's damnably entertaining. I thoroughly enjoyed it. I would guess that serious Holmsians will hate it, but taken on its own terms as a fun film it's admirable and gets a whole hearted five stars from me.