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The Cinematic Katzenjammer: June 26: Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows


June 26: Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows

"Sherlock Holmes and his sidekick Dr. Watson join forces to outwit and bring down their fiercest adversary, Professor Moriarty."

Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows does as much as it can to build off of the first entry that came out three years ago. It's bigger and bolder and takes Sherlock Holmes and Watson on quite the adventure throughout all of Europe. Introducing Mycroft Holmes (British icon Stephen Fry) and Moriarty (Mad Men's Jared Harris), A Game of Shadows expands on the universe created by the always awesome Guy Ritchie, incorporating all sorts of characters, places, and events that encompassed the beloved Sir Arthur Conan Doyle novels. It's fun, it's dramatic, and it's entertaining.

And it features a little bit of Rachel McAdams (thus, obligatory picture). 

The story follows Holmes (Robert Downey Jr.) and Watson (Jude Law) as they uncover a sinister plot by the evil genius Dr. James Moriarty that will ignite a universal war in Europe. Moriarty, in fact, has elaborately planned the assassination of a European leader that would start the war, while stockpiling arms, ammunition, and medicine in order to profit off of the war, making him damn stinky rich. Holmes and Watson get the help of the gypsy Simza (Noomi Rapace), who's brother has been caught up in Moriarty's plot. The group's investigation leads them throughout all of Europe and ends up being a race against the clock to prevent their continent falling into chaos and destruction. The plot is not the most original, or even that unpredictable, but the ride is fun and allows you to forgive the story. A lot of the story is reminiscent of the first film, but as I said, it's bigger, bolder, and with a lot more slow-motion. Seriously, there is A LOT of slow motion. I understand it's part of capturing Sherlock's insane attention to detail and perceptive abilities, but if you took out all of the slow motion, the film's run time would probably be at least ten minutes shorter. Regardless, the problems I have with the movie are small enough to ignore, and I still enjoyed the movie a lot.

This sequence is great, but the film-makers turn 45 seconds of footage into a 5 minute "chase" scene. 

Overall, I would definitely recommend Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows. Especially if you were a fan of the first one; you will certainly enjoy the sequel. It's the chemistry between Downey Jr. and Law that makes the movie great, and I could watch the two of them banter, argue, and fight together over and over. Their work together is marvelous and it's become more of a buddy "cop" kind of film than it is a Sherlock-focused movie. One would think this would be disappointing because Sherlock is the title character, but you can't have one without the other. It's also nice to see the introduction of Mycroft Holmes and Moriarty and, while I would have preferred a bigger name in the role of Moriarty, Jared Harris does a fine job...even if I can't stop thinking of him as Lane Pryce. 

The Good:
an incredible cast that works beautifully together and reside in a universe that would be hell of a good time to live in
The Better:
seeing Sherlock and Watson on another adventure, even if parts of it feel recycled and over-used
The Best:
The chemistry between Downey Jr. and Law and their budding "bromance" that takes the series to another level 

Overall: 7.7/10


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