Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows (Movie Review)

This film, directed by Guy Richie, is based on the set of novels written on a strange character called (drum roll please) Sherlock Holmes! The man himself is back in action in his latest film, 'A Game of Shadows', and yet, despite this being a squeal to a film (lets face it, the first one is always the best) this time Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law are back and they stay faithful to the characters that we all enjoyed in their last film.


This time Sherlock Holmes must confront many enemies that conspire to ruin his life, both consciously and accidentally. With the marriage of his only friend in the world just past, Sherlock begins to have somewhat of a mental break down in his time of need, against the great and powerful professor Moriarty. This little twist helps the audience grasp some of the emotion that was missed last time as we bear witness to the human element that Sherlock tries to subtlety hide every time an embarrassing event occurs. Also the introduction of Moriarty into the film helps to give the film a dedicated villain, someone that we can both hate (for the crimes that he commits) and respect. The reason for respecting Moriarty is because of his immense intellect that is on par with Sherlock throughout the film, which gives us a representation of the ladder of power as Sherlock actually loses most of the intellectual battles with Moriarty.

In terms of the mise-en-scène (this is the feel of the film and is mainly the director's job, see here for more info) there is so much to talk about. My favourite point is that even anime fans can have a giggle at the amount of Steampunk (having futuristic devices in a story that is based way before these devices would have been invented) that is involved... they have weapons from the Vietnam war in an era before the first world war!

Also the use of bullet time has received an invigorating boost (even though it began to lose favour with directors for being too corny) by focusing the camera not on the background (so that it appears slow) but on the subject so that everything feels faster and disorientating to the audience, although if I were to see this in 3D then I would probably vomit because of it!


As a conclusion I hereby rate this film as an 8/10, partially due to the fact that the original story wasn't completely followed, as well as Sherlock not being portrayed as the mental colossus that he is. However I do take in to consideration the technical side such as graphics and I purposefully love them as they blend in to the shot like sugar into a cup of tea, and unless you use your other senses, then you will have a hard time finding them!

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