Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows (2011)
Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows continues to ask that burning question, what would it be like if Guy Ritchie made a Sherlock Holmes film? It's the eve of Dr Watson's wedding and Sherlock Holmes is closing in on Professor Moriarty, who is bent on a nefarious plan to plunge the world into war. Not surprisingly, this results in Watson getting scooped up against his will into the fray and off our heroes go on a cross-continent chase to foil the arch villain.
Like any sequel, Shadows suffers from want of the novelty that marked the first film, but Ritchie makes some wise choices here, such as toning down the steampunk feel of the first and playing up the buddy-picture aspect. Ritchie is always careful to keep nodding to the Conan Doyle books, though anyone expecting the Byronic, cerebral Holmes from the pages of the Strand won't find him here. Instead, we are strictly in odd couple territory.
Ritchie also hits the restart button very hard by killing off Rachel McAdams early on and replacing her with Noomi Rapace as the female lead. Robert Downey Jr and Jude Law are comfortable in their roles and Jared Harris does a credible Moriarity, though he never gives Lionel Atwell a run for his money.
The only real problem is all the digital rubbish. Do we really need to fly down gun barrels to see bullets and shells ignite? Must every action sequence cut to slow motion? Must the entire film be in a bluish colour palette that makes it look like a very detailed comic book?
Fun, though forgettable, Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows is more a film to be caught on cable than sought on DVD.