Sequels are hard to pull off. You never expect the sequel of a big hit to be better than or as good as the first, but Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows does both. Everything that worked in the first film – the comedy, the excitement, the chemistry between Robert Downey, Jr. and Jude Law – is magnified and everything that didn’t work – the vocal audio quality, the mild plot and the lack of Guy Ritchie’s style – is improved and enhanced. The stakes are raised and absolutely no one is safe.
Professor Moriarty, the mysterious face-less mastermind who hired Irene Adler to dupe Sherlock in the last movie, is not involved in a scheme to capitalize on a European war. Being equally intelligent, he knows that Sherlock is the only man who can foil the sinister plot, so Moriarty begins a battle of wits and bombshells to get Sherlock off his back.
The only difference between the two is that Sherlock has a close group of friends that he cares for and Moriarty has no one, keeping everyone at arm’s length. Menacing Moriarty plans to use these relationships to Sherlock’s disadvantage, threatening their lives if he doesn’t walk away and retreat to London.
Although the story of A Game of Shadows is complex, requiring you to pat constant attention, it’s still completely action-packed. If you enjoyed the action scenes from the last movie, then you’ll love what you see in A Game of Shadows – it’s like the first movie, but on opium. There are wildly fun sequences like that at the boat docks in the first movie, as well as new highly intense ones – like an intense forest escape with a Matrix-esque “bullet-time” point of view while a barrage of bullets and shells rains down on them.
If you liked anything at all from the first movie, then see A Game of Shadows because it simply magnifies everything good. It’s equally as fun and even more exciting than you’d expect it to be and completely unpredictable.
Photo credit: Warner Bros.