Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows (2011) Review

The film is exactly what you expect, if you like this type of film then sure it’s a good, fun and smartly created mystery action film. But if you don’t like this type of film (Sherlock Holmes (2009) for example) then you should give it a miss. I am the first person because I actually like this type, it’s just fun to watch and as long as I enjoy the experience there’s nothing else it really needs to do.

Sherlock Holmes (Robert Downey Jr.) has always been the smartest man in the room…until now. There is a new criminal mastermind at large-Professor Moriarty (Jared Harris)-and not only is he Holmes’ intellectual equal, but his capacity for evil, coupled with a complete lack of conscience, may actually give him an advantage over the renowned detective. When the Crown Prince of Austria is found dead, the evidence, as construed by Inspector Lestrade (Eddie Marsan), points to suicide. But Sherlock Holmes deduces that the prince has been the victim of murder-a murder that is only one piece of a larger and much more portentous puzzle, designed by Professor Moriarty. The cunning Moriarty is always one step ahead of Holmes as he spins a web of death and destruction-all part of a greater plan that, if he succeeds, will change the course of history.

The advice I would give to readers is, rent for some fun mystery action with Robert Downey Jr. for a great laugh as Sherlock Holmes. Tim’s Film Reviews: well now I can only advice a rental, surprisingly good visuals check out in Blu-ray.


To start off let’s talk about the acting. The acting was actually pretty good, got some big stars with experienced acting careers (Robert Downey Jr., Jude Law, Noomi Rapace, Jared Harris). The main characters where very good at being Holmes and Watson with a bit more action which shouldn’t but always makes me laugh. The two main characters who are obviously Holmes and Watson make great leads that are fun and work off each other very well to make you believe they could have been friends for a long time. The rest of the cast do a great job with a great villain role going to Jared Harris being as bad as always (liked him in Fringe recently); for great comedy acting we go to a favourite comedian Stephen Fry for some laughs.

Jolly good show! (I am British) Check out the trailer:

The special effects were clearly the source of the increased budget from $90M in the first film to $125m in this one. But to be honest all I could see where an increase in explosions and there are a lot of them, but I love explosions so keep blowing shit up! Now then the plot, me likey likey. Professor Moriarty was a great choice and I liked Jared Harris’s performance and to be honest I believe they should have had him with more screen time because his character was really interesting. The plot was fairly clever and well presented, I especially liked the link between the ways Moriarty wanted to start a world war and how the start of the WW1 actually began. Don’t get me wrong, the links are extremely obvious and not subtle in anyway.

For the days when Great Britain had an Empire… sorry drifted into a beautiful dream for a second then, what was I saying?

The best review I found would be either “I actually enjoyed A Game of Shadows more than the original. This will be entertaining for those of you who enjoyed the original and others who just will watch RDJ in anything.” Blake Howard. This review pretty much sums it up very well and I agree that it does do better than the first, plus most people probably just watch this for Robert Downey Jr. My favourite scene would be the train scene, because the choreography was great, the cross dressing Sherlock Holmes was very funny and the scene reflects my view of the film. Funny, action packed and with Robert Downey Jr. doing something stupid but fun.

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About Tim The Film Guy

Very opinionated about films!

21 responses to “Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows (2011) Review”

  1. Franz Patrick says :

    The plot bored me to death! I kept thinking, “Get on with it already…”

    Pretty good visuals, though, I’ll give it that. I liked the forest scene with all the cannonballs and trees being destroyed…

    Er… I love nature.


  2. fluffrick says :

    Good review, Tim, although I found this sequel to be very much a disappointment. I lost interest with the munitions sub-plot and thought Noomi Rapace very wasted in her role.

    I loved the first movie and thought that this was a sequel which confused explosions and shouting interminably with good action sequences and witty dialogue.

    It wasn’t a total wash but it was in no way a better film than the first.


  3. tajgreenemoviesinreview says :

    I loved this one way more than the first. I had to convince alot of people that this one was well worth seeing, since the 1st was such a bore. I loved the special effects in this film, especially the scene in the woods where all the guns and canons were going off. The story topped the 1st, and I could see myself watching it again. Nice review!


  4. Tommy D says :

    I saw the first one and thought it was mediocre, but I really had no desire to see this one. My thoughts were as you mentioned — I knew what I was going to get. I thought it might be better than the first but that it wouldn’t be good enough to make me really want to see it. Nice write-up, Tim.


  5. ICAtransparencies says :

    I’ve been planning to watch this for a very long time now. Thanks for the post!


  6. CMrok93 says :

    Although all of the freshness that was part of the first one is somewhat over-used, the flick is still a lot of fun with Downey Jr., Harris, and Law breathing life into each of their own characters. However, I was kind of disappointed by Noomi Rapace’s role as she just simply stands there and really doesn’t do anything. Regardless though, good review Tim.


  7. theipc says :

    Just watched this last night – it was every bit as excellent as I thought it would be. I can’t decide if I like it better than the first. I think I do but then again maybe I don’t lol.


  8. mistylayne says :

    I’m the “will watch RDJ in anything type”. I didn’t even like Iron Man but I still sat through the second one for him (my love of comics doesn’t quite extend to the superheroes). I did enjoy the first Sherlock Holmes so I’m sure I’ll enjoy this one too. Great review! 🙂


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