Director: Guy Ritchie

Cast: Robert Downey Jr, Jude Law, Noomi Rapace, Jared Harris, Stephen Fry

Just when I had started banging my head against the wall after watching various 2011 releases, Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows stepped in as a perfect end to an otherwise very tiresome year.

Guy Ritchie, in my opinion, is one of the best directors the film industry has ever seen.  With this movie, he just helps me to assert my point. The movie, like its predecessor has nothing to do with the original characters built by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Though set in the 1891, Ritchie’s characters are suave and swanky, and have a very modern feel to them.

Sherlock finally meets his match in his nemesis, Moriarty, who matches up to him in terms of intellect as well as physical abilities. In fact, it is this very rivalry which adds so much flavour to the movie. Moriarty’s character is insane, but absolutely brilliant. It could not have possibly got tougher than this. And hats off to Jared Harris for playing this part to perfection!

Robert Downey Jr. playing Sherlock Holmes has delivered a splendid performance. His character is almost completely the same as it as in the first movie, except that it has got even more eccentric, sarcastic, and extremely enjoyable.  At times, I felt that it was being overdone, but I’m willing to overlook those parts. Also, Jude Law as Watson is spectacular!

The story I felt was a bit absurd. Moriarty, an arms dealer, is trying to blow up French and German dignitaries in order to start a world war.  For reasons known only to him, Holmes has his suspicions on Moriarty from the very beginning. To add to that, Watson gets married, and he and his wife are attacked by Moriarty’s men while on their way to their honeymoon to Brighton. And of course, there are extremely well co-ordinated and well-shot fights happening alongside. However, The term “world war” was first coined and used in 1904 and hence using it in movie set in 1891 is a flaw which I would not have expected Ritchie to make.

The editing in the movie is razor sharp and absolutely fantastic. Portraying some of the scenes in slow motion adds cinematic brilliance to it. Still, this should have been more restricted. The use of visual effects is brilliant, and I felt the movie would have been really enjoyable in 3D.

Carrying on from where the first film let off, Ritchie portrays the fight sequences in Sherlock’s mind first before moving on to show the real fight. This makes it slightly predictable and is not a factor that works in favour of the movie as the novelty is lost, just like the photographs that did not work at the end of Hangover 2 as they did at the end of The Hangover.

What was particularly delightful about the movie was the use of some very crafty and witty dialogues being delivered to perfect timing.

 It’s very often said that sequels do not match up to its predecessors, especially if the first movie is absolutely mind-blowing, and I would have said that the rule applied in case of this movie as well, had it not been for the last 10 seconds of the movie, especially, the last second. It’s sheer brilliance and is a signature Guy Ritchie move. For that alone, I feel the Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows is a suitable and dazzling sequel to the 2009 Sherlock Holmes movie.