Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows

Directed By: Guy Ritchie

Starring: Robert Downey, Jr., Jude Law, Noomi Rapace, Jared Harris, Stephen Fry, and Rachel McAdams

We've seriously been lacking good, entertaining blockbusters in recent months.  The most popular flick we have to show for the fall up to this point is The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 1, which is a really sad statement.  While Hollywood has been complaining about record lows for attendance this year at the box office, they continuously put out crappy movie after crappy movie.  Well, what can I say?  If you put out a product that undeniably sucks, your returns will suck.  That being said, Hollywood needs to man up, take some creative risks, and actually try to make good original movies.  With Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows, they came close; they made a good sequel at least.  With Guy Ritchie's follow up to the 2009 film Sherlock Holmes, Hollywood finally brings something worthwhile to theaters again.

A series of seemingly unrelated crimes around Europe have grabbed the attention of Sherlock Holmes (Robert Downey, Jr.).  As he investigates the crimes, he comes to the conclusion that they link to one man-- Professor James Moriarty (Jared Harris)--whose wits match those of the famed detective in every way.  Though distracted by the powerful threat posed by Moriarty, Holmes manages to take his friend Dr. Watson (Jude Law) out for a rather pathetic stag (bachelor) party the night before his wedding but ends up saving gypsy Sim (Noomi Rapace) from becoming another one of Moriarty's victims.  Holmes decides to leverage Sim to figure out what Moriarty is really up to.  When he finds out what Holmes is doing at the party, Watson is naturally pissed off that this half-assed attempt at a party is really a front for part of his friend's investigation.  As Holmes tries to stop Moriarty from achieving his goals, the ones he loves must suffer.

For the second time around, Guy Ritchie didn't do such a bad job.  Sure, it's not quite as good as the original.  Sure, the plot is predictable.  Sure, you could probably have written some of the dialogue in the script yourself.  Despite these flaws, A Game of Shadows has something going for it that trumps any problem with the film.  It's fun to watch and you'll lose yourself in the movie because you'll enjoy it just that much.  It's a fresh sequel that stands out from its predecessor.

Aside from the always enjoyable action sequences and the comedy that Downey alone brings to the table, what Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows really has going for it is the chemistry between leads Robert Downey, Jr. and Jude Law.  They have some amazing chemistry on screen, and they haven't lost a step.  Their great wit leads to great trash talking, which leads to big laughs.  Jared Harris and Noomi Rapace also add a great deal to the flick.  Harris is the villain you love to hate, while Rapace brings a unique charm to the movie. These new additions to the cast are what primarily make this sequel fresh and distinctive.

For being a fun film to watch, Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows gets a 0.06% rating.  Have a couple of rounds of beer for this one.  Hollywood, welcome back to the business of making movies that are actually entertaining for your audience.