Sherlock Holmes. A Game Of Shadows: "Oh, How I've Missed You, Holmes"

Director: Guy Ritchie
Writer:    Kieran Mulroney
               Michele Mulroney
Starring: Robert Downey, Jr.
               Jude Law
               Noomi Rapace
               Jared Harris
               Stephen Fry
               Kelly Reilly
               Rachel McAdams
               Eddie Marsan
               Geraldine James
Rating:    ***

Release Date: Out Now

The legend of Sherlock Holmes got a brilliant reboot thanks to director Guy Ritchie in 2009. Thankfully, this sequel takes that energy to even higher levels, but unfortunately to make way for more adventure the story gets brushed aside.

Sherlock Holmes (Downey, Jr) is just as sharp and brilliant as he was before but his mumbling is even more incoherent than before, which doesn't help the confusing plot. Oddly enough, this actually adds to his charm, and once you accept that Sherlock may be the only one who actually knows what the frig is going on, the quicker you are able to just sit back and enjoy this fast paced ride across 19th-century Europe. Watson (Law) is his usual smirking self, but for once it's not his up and coming marriage to Mary (Reilly) that threatens the 'bromance', it's actually his utter uselessness. He's a sidekick who literally bumbles without any point, being around purely to to react to Holmes' strokes of genius, attacks of craziness and bizarre disguises.

For no good reason, Watson is also made a target in a worldwide terror campaign created by camp panto villain Professor Moriarty (Harris). In theory, the appearance of Sherlock's greatest nemesis should be a Godsend, but the script hasn't really been thought about. Moriarty is the representation of bedlam, but the writers don't grasp the brilliant opportunity properly, meaning the two great minds have little to do with each until the final act. Elsewhere, Holmes and Watson pursue a gypsy fortune teller (Rapace) who has links to the terrorist network.

This provides them with a chance for a wild shoot-out on a night-time train to Brighton and a chase across Paris. Here, Ritchie takes advantage of the brilliantly detailed slow-mo in hand-to-hand combat to detail Holmes' strategy. It gives an exciting, fresh feel to the violence, but his self-destructive actions, which made Holmes more complex than your bog standard action hero in the original film, is missing here. Holmes concentrates more on torturing Watson than punishing himself, and that makes him slightly less interesting this time around. It isn't until the very end, when Moriarty makes himself known, at a mountaintop political summit (obviously), that Holmes throws caution to the wind in a brilliantly dramatic style.

This time around we are honoured with the appearance of Mycroft Holmes (Fry), bringing his own manner of eccentricity to this already eccentric film. He even drops his pants for a laugh, but unfortunately he's never properly integrated into the story. There is even an appearance from Irene Adler (McAdams), which I personally enjoyed, because McAdams and Downey Jr's chemistry is just electric. Now while the plot isn't brilliant and the story is jumbled all over the place; the superb humour, spectacular action, brilliant acting, and the chemistry between Holmes and Watson is enough to make the film an enjoyable romp. All you have to do is sit back and enjoy the ride, just don't pay to much attention to the plot.

Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows - Trailer

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