Movie Review: Sherlock Holmes A Game of Shadows

In this movie, Sherlock traces the criminal undertakings of Professor James Moriarty (Jared Harris) after discovering that he’s the employer of Irene Adler (Rachel McAdams) in the first film. Professor Moriarty is said to be his equal in wit and intellect and the desire to beat him became Sherlock’s obsession. In the process of uncovering Moriarty’s grand scheme, he comes across Madame Sim (Noomi Rapace) who’s searching for her brother who has fallen prey to Moriarty’s plans. Meanwhile, it’s Watson’s (Jude Law) job to keep Sherlock in check and provide assistance just like he’s always done in the past.

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What Makes the Movie Great?

The moves

I absolutely loved the trademark Sherlock method of fight assessment that was also shown in the first film. He assesses his opponents’ moves and his counter-attacks and the possible outcome of the fight. This is all done in slow-motion then in real-time. While in slow-mo, Sherlock also narrates what he’s doing and there’s even humor quips injected into it.

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Just like real brothers

In the first film, Sherlock has his apprehensions about Watson getting married, in this film, he expresses the same sentiments but eventually learns to let go. His relationship with Watson became deeper than ever and just like real brothers, it was fun to watch them bicker and banter over the smallest things. Yet, there’s no question that both of them will be there for each other at times of grave danger.

Sherlock’s Wit and Keen Observation

He sees everything and that’s his curse. This is what he told Sim while they’re knee-deep trying to meddle with Moriarty’s plans. As soon as he does, you should pay attention. They do it in the movie in such a way that there’s emphasis but the conclusion of the plot isn’t given away. It just makes you think. One thing I’ve noticed too is that Sherlock is probably immune to stress, instead he just addresses everything with witty remarks, which is quite amusing.

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The Cast

As I’ve mentioned in my posts for the movie previews for Sherlock Holmes A Game of Shadows, I can’t unsee the character of Sherlock Holmes as anyone else. Robert Downey Jr, played the part very well. He gave life to it in terms of quirky yet brilliant personality and a physical agility that would be lost if an actor can’t balance both out really well.

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Jude Law as Dr. John Watson was also perfect because he could hold up on his own and not just be lost in the background like other sidekicks. He’s brilliant in his own way and his amazing marksmanship was also shown several times in the film.

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I saw Noomi Rapace on the big screen first in the Swedish adaptation of the book The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and she was all punked up. It was refreshing to see her in curls and in a gypsy garb. She gave the character of Madam Sim a certain kind of toughness that makes her an important ally in the battle against Moriarty.

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As one of the villains in Fringe, I couldn’t wait for Jared Harris’ character to get his rightful ending. Here in A Game of Shadows, playing as Professor Moriarty, he’s just as wicked and just as cynical. Harris portrayed that exceptionally well.

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The Plot and the Twists

The story is good although it doesn’t require you to watch the first film in order to follow what’s happening in the plot. I loved the disguises and the humor. No matter how much I try to second-guess everything that Sherlock will do, his next step is always the least you’d expect. There’s no holes in the story that will leave you questioning it either, everything comes together in the end.

Sherlock Holmes A Game of Shadows is a great way to start 2012 and it’s now being shown in theaters nationwide here in the Philippines. Although we’re three weeks behind from the rest of the world, don’t waste any more time not watching it. I highly highly recommend this movie. You can’t miss it.

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