Sherlock Holmes Review: Fast-Paced Fun With A Touch Of Stephen Fry

Sherlock Holmes is back in Sherlock Holmes: A Game Of Shadows! However, this second installment hasn’t been winning over the critics thus far. Perhaps it’s all of Guy Ritchie’s slo-mo shots of intricate mechanical processes (which is cool the first few times you see it – but by the 20th it gets to be a bit over the top). Or perhaps it was the scenes depicting Holmes’s methodical thought process – acting out the scene before seeing it again in slo-mo a mere 15 seconds later? Yes, that bothered me too. That being said, this critic rather enjoyed the film overall.

This time around, Sherlock Holmes (Robert Downey Jr.) is no longer the smartest man in the room. He’s got a bit of competition from Professor James Moriarty (one of my Mad Men favorites Lane Pryce – Jared Harris). Moriarty has a unquenchable taste for evil and a complete lack of conscience. He’s responsible for a number of scandals that are making the headlines – yet Sherlock Holmes is the only one that sees it.

In pursuit of his investigation, Holmes interrupts Watson’s (Jude Law) honeymoon in order to stop Moriarty. From London to France – then to Germany and finally Switzerland – Moriarty stays one step ahead of Holmes. The final showdown could alter the course of history… But no spoilers here.

I really feel the casting in this brand has been perfect. Sherlock Holmes is no stranger to being down and out in his detective career, but he always manages to resurface in the victory lane. Hence why casting Robert Downey Jr. as the lead makes perfect sense. Not only is Downey back on top (I’d say at the peak of his career) after a long struggle with drugs and alcohol, he’s also got the style and charm to play the part perfectly. I honestly can’t think of one film that Downey has ever done where his character hasn’t charmed me. And what better Brit could have been cast as his partner in anti-crime? Normally I’m not a big fan of Jude Law’s projects, but he completes this legendary duo perfectly.

Stephen Fry is a new addition to the cast this time around. He plays Mycroft, the elder brother of Holmes, and does a fantastic job. Though it’s probably impossible to not love Fry in any role. I’ve loved his work, since I was first introduced to him as Lord Melchett in Black Adder back in the late 80’s, and Mycroft has a very similar personality to Lord Melchett. Again, just perfect casting.

I also feel like I have to mention the soundtrack. It reminds me a little bit of some of Devotchka’s songs… or Gogol Bordello. It’s gypsy punk awesomeness. If you’re a fan of movie scores… or gypsy punk music, then I recommend picking this soundtrack up – it’s one of my favorites of the year!

So all in all, if you liked the first Sherlock Holmes, I think it’s fairly safe to say you’ll like this one as well. It’s fast-paced, has great witty dialogue that will make you smirk and it has Stephen Fry. Do you really need anything more than Fry and Downey Jr. – It’s elementary, my dear Watson.

Grade: B
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Review By: Emma Loggins


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  1. i enjoyed it, but like the first one i dont see it as a sherlock holmes movie. sherlock was never an action star. but if you get past that and just see it as a reg movie its pretty good.

  2. I haven’t seen the movie, but I just set up a “date” with a friend to go see it this weekend. I’m looking forward to it even more now that I’ve read your review. Much like you, I think, I can take Jude Law or leave him, but he was perfect as Watson in the first film, and Robert Downey was amazing as well. Sounds like I’m going to get a bit annoyed with the slo-mo stuff, but hopefully the rest of the movie will make up for it.