4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
I've been expecting you, Mr Holmes,
This review is from: Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows [DVD + UV Copy]  (DVD)
Theory is that sequels have to be better than their original in order to be considered as good, as it's no longer new. And that's what Game of Shadows is. The spectacle is on a grander scale, the action more abundant, the intrigue more complex and the comedy elements more fun. And the result is so entertaining that this is at least as good as its predecessor.
Story sees Holmes on the case of the mastermind behind various acts of terrorism that are leading to accusation between the European leaders and threatening to overspill into war on a global scale. But this, despite the modern parallels, is not important as it is just a vehicle to showcase a rollercoaster of a movie.
The bickering bromance between Holmes and Watson kicks off with gusto as Holmes botches Watson's stag night, crashes the honeymoon and throws his wife from a train. And that's just the start! There is so much fun to be had revelling in the interplay between the two leads and we get added value with the introduction of Holmes' self-assured, equally clever brother Mycroft.
Guy Richie ups the ante on his trademark slo-mo and super close up camera techniques and has created a Victorian Europe so bustling and lifelike he's clearly had a bigger budget to play with. But he's avoided spending his money on a supporting cast of cameo A-listers, instead casting wisely with what's largely an outstanding ensemble. Stephen Fry is perfect as Mycroft, but is basically Stephen Fry with added superiority. Richard Harris' son Jared is mesmerising as Moriarty and never lets himself be upstaged by Downey Jr's slightly pantomimish yet thoroughly likeable Holmes. And Jude Law again cleverly plays Watson as the only seemingly normal person of the lot, constantly exasperated with all the eccentricity around him. And the only criticism I have with the characters is the disappointing underuse of Eddie Marsan's Lestrade, who nevertheless makes good use of his one and only line.
Some may argue the film is too long at over 2 hours but that's a minor quibble considering what's on display. Fist fights and quips, observation and deduction; James Bond meets Jonathan Creek in the 19th century. What more do you want?