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Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows (2011)

Rating: 7/10

Running Time: 129 minutes

US Certificate: PG-13 UK Certificate: 12A

2009’s Sherlock Holmes really was Guy Ritchie’s saviour as it got him out of a Madonna-induced rut of terrible films so it was inevitable that there would be a sequel.

The story returns to a Sherlock Holmes heavily involved in a drink and drug fuelled binge and an investigation into the shady Dr Moriarty (Harris). After his partner Dr Watson gets married, the evil doctor targets them on their honeymoon as a way to get at Holmes. The genius detective preempts this and tags along and the pair get further embroiled in Morairty’s plans to start a world war.

This sequel offers much more of the same as the original – great dialogue and humour, a really impressive chemistry between Holmes and Watson and some brilliant complimentary performances from some of the fringe stars, like Stephen Fry and Noomi Rapace (a Swede playing a French gypsy). It really is an enjoyable, untaxing way to spend two hours.

The spirit of Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes is evident and is upgraded with modern methods which really come off at times however there are occasions when Guy Ritchie tries to do too much and, like with the first one, the end product feels over-stylized. There are too many slow-mo scenes, technical fight scenes occur too frequently and Ritchie seems to want to show us the inner workings of every machine going as we are treated to inside shots of bullets moving into chambers every few minutes. The epitome of this is a chase scene through a forest where every special effects trick known to man is employed continuously for a few minutes thereby spoiling the novelty.

It's Got: Witty dialogue, great chemistry, a fast-moving story with lots of action

It Needs: The special effects not to be rammed down our throats so much


More of the same from Robert Downey Jr. and company as Ritchie takes the spirit of Sherlock Holmes and gives it a modern twist. A fun watch but sometimes the special effects need to be toned down a little.