SHERLOCK HOLMES: A GAME OF SHADOWS


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DIRECTOR: Guy Richie

May Contain Spoilers!

The 2012 sequel to Guy Richie’s hit Sherlock Holmes (2009) meets a major stumbling block. Where do we go from here? Following the events of the London-based reboot in which Robert Downey Jr. takes on the mantle of literary detective, this carries on almost where we left off but in the three-years between the two movies, BBC’s Sherlock, starring Benedict Cumberbatch had become a phenomenon in ways that Richie could only have dreamt of for his own movies.

But it is a shame, because given time to breathe, both versions are good, modern and invigorating but Downy’s Holmes is a heroic Hollywood manifestation, whilst Cumberbatch is all BBC, through and through. But it seems here, that now we have re-established Sherlock as a slightly mad, rough and tumble detective, Richie opted to take him down the action road and away from the intellectual detective from first film.

Here, he is simply fighting his nemesis but there is very little “detecting” going on and it is clearly following the three act structure of hero meets nemesis, takes a beating but wins out in the end by making the ultimate sacrifice for his friends. Fair enough but the plot was too hollow to prove this and Downy is running the risk of being the Baker Street detective in name only.

Having said that, the film was entertaining, funny and the action was good, though way over the top. Still, far from Holmes’ worst outing and Downy Jr. is always a pleasure to watch with this is being no exception to that rule. In my view, this was misstep and one which may well have derailed the budding franchise but with Sherlock to compete with, it was always going to be an uphill struggle.

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