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Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows movie poster

Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows: Movie Review

Genre: Action, Adventure
Rated: PG-13
Directed by: Guy Ritchie

Starring: Robert Downey, Jr., Jude Law, Jared Harris, Noomi Rapace, Rachel McAdams, Stephen Fry, Kelly Reilly, Eddie Marsan
Released by: Warner Bros. Pictures

In Short: Director Guy Ritchie's second take on the Sherlock Holmes legend is a rollicking good time, filled with top-notch action sequences and cerebral ponderings worthy of the great detective.

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Holmes and Watson's Exciting Return

Sherlock Holmes purists may once again be off put by director Guy Ritchie's rock-'em sock-'em take on the genius British detective and his faithful friend Dr. Watson, but for the rest of us, his second outing is simply tons of fun.

Everyone is back in "Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows," from Robert Downey, Jr., as the great sleuth to Jude Law as Dr. Watson, Rachel McAdams as Irene Adler, Eddie Marsan as Inspector Lestrade and Kelly Reilly as Watson's soon-to-be wife Mary. Those coming nuptials are a key part of the story, as Holmes and Watson get entangled with the nefarious Professor James Moriarty just as the bachelor party is about to begin.

Moriarty is Holmes' continuing nemesis throughout the writings of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and he plays a huge role in this episode. Well played by Jared Harris, he's an evil genius who is plotting world financial domination. If that sounds a bit like a Bond movie, it's because it is, for in Ritchie's hands, Sherlock Holmes is as much an action star as James Bond – or even Jackie Chan. There are numerous fight sequences in the flick, choreographed with fascinating precision as Holmes first visualizes the coming action, then fast-forwards into it.

Jared Harris and Rachel McAdams in Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows Robert Downey Jr., Jude Law and Kelly Reilly in Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows

That technique, as well as a number of other visually exciting storytelling devices, are what sets "Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows" apart from the many iterations of the Holmes legend that have come before on the silver screen. For by combining all the elements of the original Holmes that we know and love, including elaborate disguises, incredible observation skills and even his penchant for cocaine, with fast-moving action sequences and a large dollop of humor, Ritchie and his gang have created a seriously enjoyable new take on an old saw.

Add in terrific performances by the leads, as well as newcomers Noomi Rapace (best known for the Swedish "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" film trilogy) as a sultry gypsy and Stephen Fry as Holmes' foppish brother Mycroft, and there's no doubt about it: the game's afoot once again, and we're happy to be along for the chase.

Reviewed by Jenny Peters



(Updated: 05/09/13 DM)

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