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Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows (2011)

by on December 30, 2011

“It’s so overt, it’s covert” – Sherlock Holmes

I never plan to go to the movies. It’s usually a last resort for something to do while out and about with friends who have plenty of time and well, $13 dollars in their pocket. Case in point, last night. The rain in Spain stays mainly in the plain but in Vancouver it falls where it may. We made a mad dash to the theatre and had the difficult choice between going to see Sherlock Holmes #2 or The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. I vetoed the latter due to the fact that I haven’t read the book (it’s one of my next books to read, I swear) and we opted for door #1 – the sequel to the movie I remember as being over the top and not that amusing.

This time, however, was surprisingly different. Perhaps it was because I wisely lowered my expectations that I enjoyed this movie. I expected over the top and more of the silliness that is Robert Downey Jr. as Sherlock Holmes and it`s basically what I got but this time I saw it as simply part of the movie watching experience. That’s really the key, isn’t it? Lower your expectations and you rarely get disappointed.

In this installment of what is turning out to be the Sherlock Holmes franchise, Holmes matches wits with his greatest nemesis, Professor Moriarty. We see the return of Irene Adler played by Rachel McAdams, also known as “the woman” in Arthur Conan Doyle’s original story A Scandal in Bohemia. Watson is freshly married and is about to go on his honeymoon but as per usual, his plans are dashed when Holmes takes him out on one more case.

Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows movie poster

Gypsies and political intrigue abound as we follow Watson and Holmes from England to France, Germany and Switzerland. I thought Professor Moriarty was a formidable opponent; however, that age old question still exists. When bad guys have the chance, or chances as the case may be, to kill the good guy why do they hesitate just long enough for him to get away? Puzzling, very puzzling.

I’m not much of a fan of Jude Law but his portrayal of Watson does create a good foil to Robert Downey Jr.’s Sherlock Holmes. Humour is definitely a friend of A Game of Shadows and it is the banter and comraderie between the two main characters that I think carried the movie along. The action and suspense parts were just okay for me. Overall, I was pleasantly surprised with Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows. I thought it far exceeded the first and has good entertainment value. I would recommend seeing this movie because there are a lot of worse ways to spend $13 on a soggy weekday evening.

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