Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows (12A)

Film

Period and swashbuckler films

Robert Downey Jr. in Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows

Robert Downey Jr. in Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows

Time Out rating:

<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>2</span>/5

User ratings:

<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>4</span>/5
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Time Out says

Posted: Tue Dec 13 2011

When Guy Ritchie’s witty, enjoyable reboot of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s iconic detective stories busted blocks back in 2009, a follow-up was unavoidable. Cynics would argue that a visit from that scourge of movie sequels, the law of diminishing returns, was equally inevitable – but that doesn’t stop this overlong romp from being a disappointment.

We find Holmes (Robert Downey Jr) already hot on the trail of his latest nemesis, ‘Napoleon of crime’, James Moriarty (Jared Harris). When the mad professor schemes to have Holmes’s on-off squeeze murdered, our hero spirals into depression – until the return of his trusty sidekick Watson (Jude Law) shakes him out of his torpor and sets him back on the warpath, following a trail of destruction that will lead to Paris, Germany and – inevitably – Switzerland’s Reichenbach Falls.

The best comparison to draw here is with the ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ sequels: the cast and crew remain unchanged, but a key ingredient is lacking. Perhaps it’s a sense of spontaneity: where the first film seemed genuinely sprightly and off-the-cuff, the outcome of every thunderous, whizz-bang, CG-fuelled action scene in the sequel feels – that word again – inevitable. Downey Jr even seems to be attempting a kind of knock-off Jack Sparrow, slapping on the eyeliner and chucking in a few inappropriate nod-wink asides.

Salvation arrives in the form of Stephen Fry as Holmes’s brother, Mycroft, and while the role of an upper-crust homosexual with a schoolmasterly demeanour and encyclopaedic intellect isn’t exactly a stretch for the nation’s favourite quizmaster, it’s a welcome distraction from the increasingly stale banter of the two leads. The result is a fitfully amusing but largely unsurprising and uninvolving action-movie-by-numbers: elementary, and not in a good way.
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Release details

Rated:

12A

UK release:

Fri Dec 16, 2011

Duration:

129 mins

Users say

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<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>0</span>/5

Average User Rating

3.4 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:7
  • 4 star:8
  • 3 star:7
  • 2 star:4
  • 1 star:0
LiveReviews|35
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Gee

Totally disagree with timeout rating this was a clever, well-executed film with excellent comic timing and a storyline. The Downey Junior and Law coupling is charming and perfect. At least as good as the first which was excellent

Gee

Totally disagree with timeout rating this was a clever, well-executed film with excellent comic timing and a storyline. The Downey Junior and Law coupling is charming and perfect. At least as good as the first which was excellent

AshleighKathryn

i cant believe this got such a low rating! i went and saw it trwice. I thought the chemistry between holmes and watson was totally upped from the first and as always love robert and judes versions of the characters. To compare it to bbcs sherlock i find really long leap though, to me they are completely different and both amazingly addictive in their own rights. so basically go see it on the big screen while you still can! 10/10

AshleighKathryn

i cant believe this got such a low rating! i went and saw it trwice. I thought the chemistry between holmes and watson was totally upped from the first and as always love robert and judes versions of the characters. To compare it to bbcs sherlock i find really long leap though, to me they are completely different and both amazingly addictive in their own rights. so basically go see it on the big screen while you still can! 10/10

Cappybear

I enjoyed the first Sherlock Holmes movie but found the sequel to be charmless, long-winded and boring. Noomi Rapace wandered around like she was on the wrong set. On the other hand, my wife enjoyed the film, though she too thought it way too long.

Sophie

I found myself resting my eyes during many of the action scenes which says a lot, because it usually takes quite a bit for me to close my eyes when Jude is on the screen, but there were simply far too many and most of them seemed unneccessary. Noomi Rapace's character is really one-dimensional and boring and doesn't add anything to the story. Stephen Fry is great though. Love the dialogue and the originality of the two main characters which sadly took second place to the action in this sequel, but on the good side the plot was slightly less silly than in the first one.

Essie Vessey

Totally disagree with your film critic. This was a brilliant film even better than the first. As usual if an official film critic says the film is rubbish then I know it's going to be great cos they don't have a clue!

Essie Vessey

Totally disagree with your film critic. This was a brilliant film even better than the first. As usual if an official film critic says the film is rubbish then I know it's going to be great cos they don't have a clue!

GS

It's all a bit of a bish bosh mish mash kind of film. Amusing here and there but not a very good movie. I

stevhors

Like a victorian James Bond with superb action sequences this film entertains for the full 2 hours. Don't go if you want to see anything like Conan Doyle's stories, and don't expect anything very sophisticated, but fine for an enjoyable and engaging cinema visit.

gb

Cracking action film, loved every minute, cant wait for SH-3.

Paul

A ripping yarn if a little light on clues and their detection, I went with a teenager and we both enjoyed the non-stop action. Good to see Rapace on the screen again and an evil Prof Moriarty

FilmFan

Much better than the first film in every aspect and a good way to spend about 2 1/2 hours during this Christmas holidays. I am actually already quite looking foward to the possibly inevitable third Sherlock Holmes (Christmas) film in probably three or four years time!

john and chris

Just been to see this action packed film and loved it the attention to detail was excellent and the music was great. What do people want from a film. It was pure entertainment.

MisterGourmet

Guy Ritchie has never had a clue how to tell a story and SH-2 is no exception. Half-baked action sequences, second-rate CGI and pointless slo-mo/crash-zoom trickery bolted together by perfunctory dialogue and feeble jokes. Dull and dreary. The only mystery in this Sherlock Holmes story is why Warners handed so much cash to such a serial failure at the job of film-making. (Nothing to do with his trophy wife of the time, I'm sure).

jaycee

very entertaining and better than the first one. Noomi Rapace is wasted, I agree. Moriarty is great though, and it's 'very funny

Blaize67

If you like the Richie style then maybe this is OK, but I found the plot ridiculous and the acting rather complacent. Noomi Rapace is wasted.

Moriarty

I actually think the review is quite unfair in a few ways. Yes, sequels are often by the numbers - but in this case what were people expecting? This film doesn't set out to win Oscars for Best Director/Actor/Screenplay and surely won't. But if it is enough to be entertained - then it's a very good film. Although the story does drag in the second act - it was good to feel that Holmes wasn't always ahead of the villain, there was a decent sense of peril throughout. I for one, really enjoyed it.

Siobhan O&#039;Connor

I loved the first movie but the sequal is pretty poor - found it pretty boring really so I wouldn't advise anyone to go and see it at the cinema. Also I feel a bit worried about those that think this movie is intellectual - it really isn't.

Joe

The TO review is pretty accurate here. The film has none of the surprises or thrill of the first, despite they're being a lot more action. The fights, crashes, disasters are too predictable and follow one after another, pretty much from start to finish and Downey Jr's acting is often a bit OTT at times. A stale story and overall a fairly boring film. Guess another sequel is likely and it'll probably be as naff as this.

Yellow Owl

SH-2 is a wonderful story of games, though this time we are more just following Sherlock puttig a few missing pieces in an overall combined puzzle, rather then trying to put it together with him from the start. But the detective part is not the only (or may be not even the major) thing that leaves its impression on you when you leave the cinema - it's first of all a story about true friendship - a very tender relationship between two very smart men with a nice sense of humour :) And Stephen Fry is, of course, simply adorable as Microft :)

k

... I agree with Ian - the slo-mo pre-exposition thing was a nice gimmick, but gets tedious and actually detracts from quite a cracking ending. Despite this - found the film hugely entertaining: laugh-out-loud funny in places, and any zing the Watson/Holmes bromance might have lost, was made up for by Moriarty.

Ian

I actually quite enjoyed it, The ultra slow mo is a bit annoying at times as is the explanation of what is going to happen before it actually does. Note to Director let us just find out what happens rather than show us in slow motion from Holmes perspective and then go on to show us what you have just explained at length. Its good, not great, and if you are going to the cinema tonight you could do much worse than see this.

Robert

Very enjoyable, as good as the first. Watch out - spoiler alert in T.O. review above!!!!!

Leo

loved this film. its funny, action packed and slightly intellectual

Leo

loved this film. its funny, action packed and slightly intellectual

Mal Content

It depends what you regard as intellectual - endless action stagings and a fearfulness of homosexuality?