SHERLOCK HOLMES: A GAME OF SHADOWS directed.
SHERLOCK HOLMES: A GAME OF SHADOWS directed by Guy Ritchie, written by Michele Mulroney and Keiran Mulroney based on the characters created by Arthur Conan Doyle, with Robert Downey Jr., Jude Law, Noomi Rapace and Jared Harris. A Warner Bros. release. 129 minutes. Opens Friday (December 16). For venues and times, see Movies. Rating: NNN
Sherlock Holmes: A Game Of Shadows improves on Guy Ritchie’s previous Sherlock picture by abandoning any pretense that it’s based on Arthur Conan Doyle’s text. This time around, Robert Downey Jr.’s Holmes is just an action figure racing around 1891 Europe trying to prevent the eeeevil Professor Moriarty (Jared Harris) from triggering a world war.
The sequel follows the bigger-and-louder formula devised by producer Joel Silver for his Lethal Weapon and Die Hard sequels: shit constantly blows up or catches fire, and the story rarely pauses for breath.
Downey’s still miscast as Holmes, but it’s less bothersome this time around because we already know what we’re in for. Jude Law remains an excellent Watson, Harris makes a decent Moriarty, and a delightful Stephen Fry steals the picture as Holmes’s brother, Mycroft, though that might just be the effect of his only appearing in scenes where nothing explodes.
I’m still not sure what Noomi Rapace’s character brings to the story, other than giving Downey’s Holmes a more openly hostile co-star than Rachel McAdams’s Irene Adler.