Sherlock Holmes: Game Of Shadows DVD Review


It’s a very on trend and even trending thing of late, as metrosexual men increasingly embrace their feminine sides with their similarly inclined, unrepressed brethren.

And no one in cinema expresses this better than Robert Downey Jr and Jude Law as the ultimate male duo of Sherlock Holmes and Dr John Watson.

Picking up where Guy Ritchie’s surprisingly great first instalment left off, Sherlock Holmes: Game Of Shadows sees everyone’s favourite sleuth hot on the trail of his amour du jour, Irene Adler.

Of course, with these two you never can tell which one is playing the mouse and who is the cat; which is no doubt why they like each other so.

Unfortunately, Miss Adler’s decision making skills have always left a little to be desired and it’s no surprise when she gets herself in over her head as soon as her sparring partner isn’t around to rescue her.

Despite all the undoubted chemistry between these two, it’s possible that the man whom Adler is dangerously in cahoots with may be an even better fit for Holmes.

Professor James Moriarty is a scholar, champion boxer and even more of a match for our Sherlock than Miss Adler; though I doubt he’d look nearly as fetching in one of her victorian outfits.

So when Holmes diffuses one of Moriarty’s nefarious acts in the process of chasing his favourite piece of tail, the game between these two adversary’s really is afoot.

As always, Holmes faithful if sometimes reluctant man servant Dr Watson is on hand to lend a, well, hand; in between trying to balance his impending marital nuptials with his betrothed Mary.

Still, there’s only one relationship in Watson’s heart that really matters, which is just as well as Holmes is going to need all the assistance he can muster if he’s going to thwart Moriarty’s dastardly deeds.

I remember being a tad underwhelmed when I first watched Sherlock Holmes: Game Of Shadows last year, mostly because the first film had been so good.

My main beef was the all too brief cameo by Rachel McAdam as Irene Adler, who had such a spark with Downey Jr’s dashing detective of Baker Street in the first instalment, but revisiting Ritchie’s sequel has made me realise that it’s follow up is still a great entertainment on its own merits.

I’m still not overly enamoured with the anti climactic reveal of Professor Moriarty’s evil plan at Game Of Shadows final act as it seems far too rooted in prosaic, commercial reality than fantastical daring do.

But the wit and repartee between Downey Jr’s Holmes and Law’s Watson are more than enough to keep you enrapt til the end.

No doubt it helps that these two actors are such firm friends in real life; even so their bromance is pitch perfectly and pleasingly builds on their double act from their earlier Holmes adventure.

As as de riguer for any big hollywood flick these days, the budget is are higher and the action even inevitably bigger throughout Game Of Shadows.

While these scenes could feel a little predictable and repetitive on first viewing, I found it a whole easier to appreciate the second time around.

Noomi Rapace takes on the mantle of dolly duty as the card reading gypsy Simza, while Jared Harris ably manages to make the ubiquitous role of Moriarty his own; though his final exchange with Downey Jr doesn’t quite manage to live up to what went before.

Still, Sherlock Holmes: Game Of Shadows is a fine sequel to Ritchie’s hugely entertaining reboot of Arthur Conan Doyle’s infamous detective.

So why not let your guard down for the eve and let your feminine side come out from the shadows.

Jonathan Campbell

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Dates ‘n stuff

May 2012