The crime – Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows doesn’t live up to the first film in the franchise.
When Guy Ritchie first decided to shake up the Sherlock Holmes tradition, he did so with a steampunk style and panache. The first film in the franchise was criticised for diverting too much from the original text, but this reviewer found that instalment to be a refreshing and fun take on a classic. Although Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows follows the same formula – so much so that outlining the plot feels redundant – it falls short. In what way do the two films diverge? The difference is elementary, my dear readers.
The bromance between Sherlock (Downey Jnr) and Watson (Law) is still just as believable (indeed, I kept hoping Ritchie would up the ante, and take it from bromance to romance. The two male leads have a helluva lot more chemistry with each other, than they do with their female companions, in any case) but for the most part, A Game of Shadows doesn’t hold a flickering, mysterious candle to the original. And it’s because Sherlock doesn’t use his head. Where the first film Holmes’ main weapon is his mind, backed-up by some ass-kicking action, in the sequel there is very little sleuthing, and more cruisin’ for a bruisin’. The smarts are gone, and replaced by brute strength. It’s absolutely criminal.