Bigger, bolder, more explosions! Sherlock Holmes: A Game Of Shadows takes the expected sequel route and it makes for an intense action packed ride, but what of the detective work? Will Sherlock and Watson have time to use their brains in the action led sequel? Fear not, Holmes is always thinking.
The story of A Game Of Shadows revolves around the evil professor Moriarty (Jared Harris). He has a bold plan of making the nations go into war and himself making big bucks on the side thanks to the control he hopes to have on the weaponry. Money seems to be the prime motive, if there was another the film failed to make it clearly apparent, and Sherlock (Robert Downey Jr.) has to stop him by finding the evidence to pin him down. The two are aware of each others objectives and it is treated as a game. A game of shadows. Aha!
The complications arise on finding this evidence however, due to the clever mind of Moriarty. It is a battle of wits, and while Watson (Jude Law) is forced into this due to his previous involvement with Holmes, the two work together to try to work it out. Probably so Watson can get back to his new wife. Working it out seems to involve more fighting, shooting and explosions in comparison to the last film, and the thought moments aren’t as satisfying outcomes this time round. There is some loose connection, but the plot stands out as being rather flimsy and padded. It isn’t till the end when the thinking game actually feels worthwhile, rather than just for some fisticuffs.Moriarty doesn’t make for much of an interesting villain either, his smarts rarely shown and lacking of any menacing aura.
While A Game Of Shadows delivers a messier and more brain-dead story, it shows its worth with showing more quirks of Holmes and a more comedy. He sure likes to dress up this time and the outfits he trots around in are hilarious. Seeing a grown intelligent man going about as a woman is just something else. It also plays on Holmes and Watson being best buds, with a lot of gay subtext creating some giggles. It is a funner sequel with plenty of moments to wow, but I’m feeling this was the easier direction to take the sequel, rather than the better one. Maybe for the inevitable third the show will concentrate more on a tighter plot and more puzzles to solve.