Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows (2011) Film Review

“First, link the film. Next, explain why it took so long for me to watch this sequel. Then, put out a disclaimer for spoilers. Finally, conclude the introduction and start the review. Prognosis: A damn good movie review. Physical recovery – 2 months. Mental recovery – 2 years.” Hello Everyone and Welcome to today’s movie review! Today I will be reviewing 2011’s Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows, Starring Robert Downey Jr., Jude Law, Stephen Fry and Noomi Rapace. I sat down today to watch this film, which I have put off for a long time, due to bad reception, despite loving the first film. Be warned, there may be the odd spoiler or two in this review, so don’t say I didn’t warn you! Without further ado, let’s begin!

I was impressed by the acting in this movie. Robert Downey Jr. put in a good performance in his return to playing detective Sherlock Holmes. Jude Law did well as Dr. Watson, showing both an emotional and physical range of acting skills throughout the film. Noomi Rapace put in a solid performance as Simza Heron and Stephen Fry made a good Mycroft. Other notable performances include Jared Harris as Moriarty – Holmes’ arch nemesis and Rachel McAdams putting in a short but sweet performance as Irene Adler. Acting Rating – 8/10.

The story was solid. A creative new installment to the franchise whilst borrowing subtle references to Arthur Conan Doyle’s novels – most notably, the part where Holmes and Moriarty fall over the cliff – taken from ‘The Final Problem’, as was the sentences Watson typed on the typewriter at the end of the film. However, despite borrowing a few elements from Conan Doyle’s novels, an original yet slightly shabby story was written. Story Rating – 7/10.

The ‘Phantom Camera’, one of my favourite things anyone can put in a movie to impress me. This expensive piece of equipment is used spectacularly in both Sherlock Holmes’ films – making the cinematography truly masterful. I love the fact that the Phantom Cam’ can capture things that the human eye cannot – which is why I rate the cinematography in this film higher than anything else. The forest chase scene is the star of the show, as it were, and I enjoyed that scene more than any other in the film. Cinematography Rating – 10/10.

The music, composed by the spectacular Hans Zimmer – was another highlight of this film. I actually have the ‘theme’ of this film, named ‘Discombobulate’, on my iPod, downloaded from iTunes in the original soundtrack of the first film. This music is very good and matches the time period suitably – also fitting the ‘rough and ready’ action/fighting scenes of the film. Music Rating – 9/10.

This film was moderately creative – it was hardly a completely original movie as it did borrow some aspects from the Conan Doyle novels but it did manage an original plot and kept me interested and excited through the film. With some clever writing and some comedic one liners – it would be hard for me to slate the creativity too much, so I will instead give it credit where it’s due. Creativity Rating – 7/10.

The Special Effects were impressive, excluding Phantom Cam – because I’ve already mentioned it, they were exciting and realistic. When Watson destroys the lighthouse-tower-thing and it goes crashing into the warehouse – I was impressed, it looked real and got me interested. There were also enough explosions for my liking – I seem to remember there being quite a few explosions in the first film, which I was a big fan of. Special Effects Rating – 8/10.

Finally, the suspense in this film. There were a few scenes in this film where my heart genuinely started beating fast, mainly the forest chase and the chess/ballroom scene at the peace conference. Both of these scenes kept me on the edge of my seat throughout – and excited me at the same time. For that reason, I have rated the suspense quite highly. Suspense Rating – 8/10.

To conclude, this movie was deemed as average by critics everywhere – but I am not a critic, I am not going to slate a film for trying to be fun and exciting – rather than focusing on arthouse-sepia-camera-effects. I have awarded this film a 4-Star Rating and I believe that my judgement is correct – at least in my opinion anyway.




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