Last week I went to see Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows. Overall the film was a disappointment. While there were times I laughed at the comedic elements of the film I later realized that this wasn't Sherlock Holmes.
While Robert Downey, Jr. has an interesting interpretation of the world's greatest detective the film too often fell into a campy feel. I can live with the camp.
The first real problem was the violence. The number of people killed by Holmes & Watson was staggering. At one point Watson is firing what looks similar to a BAR at German guards at a weapons plant. I lost track of how many people he slaughtered with a weapon that wouldn't be developed until the tail end of the First World War (about a quarter century after when this film takes place).
Inside the factory where that battle took place were enough artillery shells to last part of a weekend during the Great War. Some of these shells appear to have been capable of deploying chemical weapons..... another thing developed after the War was in full swing many years later.
In any case gun play was uncommon in Holmes canon. It seems to be the first course of action in this adventure. The explosions and shooting were very out of place.
There also seemed to be no real mystery involved in the story. Holmes knows that Moriarty is up to no good at the start. Most of the film is just to drive Holmes into confrontation with Moriarty at Reichenbach Falls. Basically a bad retelling of “The Adventure of the Final Problem.”
On the plus side I did enjoy the musical score. So many movies these days have forgettable music, it's nice to have a movie with something more memorable. Earlier this year I saw the new Conan and was disappointed at the crappy music, nothing like the awesome score by Basil Poledouris. Musical scores these days leave much to be desired especially compared to what we had in movies twenty to thirty years ago.
So to summarize; if you liked the first film in this series you should at least enjoy this one. If you didn't like the first film you'll probably dislike this one even more. Overall I give it a 4 out of 10.
*Good action flick if you forget it's a Sherlock Holmes film
*Too much bloodshed by Holmes & Watson
*No mystery involved
*Moriarty's moronic plot
*A little too silly at times