"And you think they won't be able to recognize you in this outfit?" "Yeah, because it is so overt that it is covert" responds Holmes to Watson's doubts and you are in complete awe of this man's wit and smartness. Guy Ritchie's Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows has been modified, no doubt, but it is still entertaining, riveting, fascinating and humorous and this sequel is definitely a confident competition to the first one.
Based on Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's story The Adventure of the Final Problem, The Game of Shadows is much more glamorized, entertaining and dramatic. But I don't think Sir Arthur would mind had he been here to see the film because the film never loses the true energy of Holmes and not once does it lose the audiences' attention.
The movie starts-off almost exactly where it left the last time. Holmes (Robert Downey Jr.) has been busy experimenting alone ever since his partner Dr. Watson (Jude Law) has decided to depart from this deadly detective game for good. He is on a hot trail of Professor James Moriarty (Jarred Harris) ever since the last time. Holmes is trying his level best not to involve Watson in this mess herewith but Moriarty has other plans. In this mad-man's game, not only does Watson get involved, but his new wife Mary Watson (Kelly Reilly), a gypsy girl Simza (Noomi Rapace) and her brother somehow get woven into this trap. Will Holmes be able to solve this mystery? Or will it be his biggest, best yet the last case of his career? For those who have read the books, the answer is pretty obvious but for those who haven't, the answer remains elusive till the last minute of the movie.
Yes, no doubt the movie has added several characters, has modernized the fight sequences and has dramatized the story adding much more to the plot than in the book yet, it doesn't disappoint you. Each and every actor has given such splendid and realistic performance that it is impossible to not like them. Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law share a great camaraderie and one cannot imagine anyone else in their place. Jared Harris is nothing like the character described in the book yet the madness, the narcissism, and the burning desire to rule the world we see in his eyes is enough to convince you that he is truly Prof. Moriarty. Rest of the cast supports the lead pair with great finesse.
The film spends a lot of energy and time on its action sequences. Ritchie's sense of style in the action sequences is on full display this time. The film at times feels stretched, sometimes the action sequences appear fake (especially the showdown scene where Holmes & Moriarty share a Voldemort-Harry Potter-like final scene which is comical) and sometimes the story seems to be spiralling out of control but for the majority of time, the movie is a majestic affair. The beautiful and bygone days of London, the impressive costumes, the use of colours and the breath-taking music together make it an adventure worth embarking on.
Sherlock Holmes: A Game Of Shadows may not be the best spy movies, may not even be exactly as per the book, yet, it is a captivating and intriguing movie.