Sherlock Homes: A Game of Shadows Blu-ray Review -

Sherlock Homes: A Game of Shadows Blu-ray Review

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  • Rated: PG-13
  • Cast: Robert Downey, Jr., Jude Law, Jared Harris, Stephen Fry
  • Written By: Keiran and Michele Mulroney
  • Directed By: Guy Ritchie
  • Distributor: Warner Brothers
  • Original Year of Release: 2012
  • Extras: See Below
  • Series:

Sherlock Homes: A Game of Shadows Blu-ray Review

Holmes Vs Moriarty

By Tim Janson     June 13, 2012

I realize that to a lot of purists who grew up as fans of Sherlock Holmes being played by Basil Rathbone, Peter Cushing, or Jeremy Brett, that the more action-oriented Robert Downey, Jr. portrayal may not be to their tastes.  But I can’t help myself, these films are just plain fun.  The original film made a misstep by not featuring Holmes’ arch-nemesis Professor Moriarty but that is remedied here as Jared Harris takes the reins as the ultimate Holmes adversary in a globe-trotting adventure that goes from England to France, Germany, and Switzerland.  

A series of terrorist bombings threatens to plunge Germany and France into war that could spread throughout Europe.  Holmes has connecting the attacks as well as numerous business transactions back to the esteemed Moriarty as the two face off in the first of several battles of wills.  Dr. Watson (Law) is trying to put the life of adventure behind him, marrying the lovely Mary Morstan.  However, their honeymoon is interrupted by an assassination attempt aboard a train, which is thwarted by Homes…in drag no less.  And has Watson exclaims, quoting from Shakespeare’s King Henry the V. it’s “Once more into the breach!”

The pair team with a roguish band of gypsies, including the beautiful Sizma (Noomi Rapace) as they attempt to thwart Moriarty’s plans of war profiteering, as well as locating an assassin who has had his appearance surgically altered, before he can kill a delegate at a peace summit.

Is Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows heavy on action and a bit too light on mystery and Holmes’ usual brilliant deductions?  Sure.  But then again Indiana Jones didn’t exactly engage in a lot of archaeology in The Temple of Doom.  While still keeping Holmes brilliant and eccentric (and not necessarily in that order) Director Guy Ritchie makes him a man of action.  Ritchie brings back “Holmes-a-vision” the ability for Holmes to see a fight in his head before it takes place, is back with fury but Holmes will find he’s not the only one with this precognitive ability.

Jared Harris shines as Moriarty, who is as brilliant as Holmes but gains an upper hand with his sinister lack of morals.  He will let nothing and no one get in the way of his plans.  Stealing every scene he is in is Stephen Fry who plays Holmes’ smarter brother Mycroft.  His aversion to just about every other person around him, particularly those he deems below him, makes for some of the most enjoyable scenes in the film.

But as with the first film, A Game of Shadows rides on the shoulders of perfectly blended chemistry of Robert Downey, Jr. and Jude Law.  These two actors are like an old comedy team who has honed their craft and timing for decades, and who know just the right expression and right inflections to use in their performance at all times.  They are an absolute joy to watch.  

Adding to the luster are some stunning set pieces like the Paris Opera House and the scene of the peace summit above the Reichenbach Falls in Switzerland.  Top it off with a rousing musical score by Hans Zimmer, and Game of Shadows manages to outdo the original film.

Blu-Ray Extras

Maximum Movie Mode: Inside the mind of Sherlock Holmes Hosted by Robert Downey, Jr.  Every major studio has some version of a maximum movie mode where you can watch the film with popup featurettes, storyboards, and interviews but Warner Bros. does this as good if not better than anyone else.  There are various points that allow you to drop out of the film for focus points which I will detail below.

Focus Points (34:59)  The focus points are short featurettes that can be watched within the Maximum Movie mode or by themselves.  Among the focus points covered are the return of Holmes-a-vision; casting the role of Professor Moriarty; the relationship between Holmes and Watson; Mycroft Holmes; Director Guy Ritchie; and shooting in other lands.

Still Galleries

Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows Movie App – This is an app you can download to your computer that will sync to the blu-ray for more interactive material 


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Wiseguy 6/13/2012 7:50:23 AM

Didn't like the first much and haven't bothered with this one. I'll see it once it hits cable

aegrant 6/13/2012 9:18:17 AM

Liked the movie cause it opens the world of Holmes up to my kid. But I was able to figure major plot points halfway through the movie.

I also noticed that PBS (look at me, all cultured and sh!t) borrows many style points for the Masterpiece Theatre version of Sherlock Holmes. If you haven't seen these, check them out they are pretty good - these are contemporary versions of the stories.

jppintar326 6/13/2012 4:16:28 PM

Sound and fury signify nothing.

Hookedonavengers2012 6/13/2012 10:33:06 PM

 i might get this, i liked the first one and I need to get the awful G.R.II out of my head! lol

violator14 6/14/2012 9:14:05 AM

I love both movies. the dynamic btwn RDJ and Jude Law is pure gold. Wise, as your fellow Maniac, I strongly recommend you try watching it again at least 2 or 3 more times. It's one of those movies that gets so much better everytime u watch it. It's the Little things he does that is pretty funny to me.


InnerSanctum 6/14/2012 2:57:20 PM

 I really enjoyed the first one.  My only complaint for the second was the constant ridiculous costumes that Sherlock wore.  The dress, the wallpaper, the chair...give me a break.  

I definitely feel the first was a stronger film, but the villian in part two was far superior.  I just liked the "spooky" aspects that were in the first one and only the hint of the man behind it all.   They could have saved Moriarty for part three...building the tension.

fatpantz 6/14/2012 10:48:52 PM

I am certain Moriarty will be back ;)

Moriarty as such an awesome villain only makes me wish they would have just followed the original and made LoEG properly....such an amazing character

karas1 6/16/2012 12:14:05 PM

The bromance between Holmes and Watson was the centerpiece of both films.  And both films were certainly worth watching.  Some of the action scenes stretched just a little too long, but they were so spactacurlar that it was hard to object. 



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