A Game of Shadows"
Release Date: Dec. 16, 2011
Running Time: 128 minutes
Great minds do not want to waste their time and energy playing a game that insults their intelligence. So why bother pitting Sherlock Holmes against his arch enemy, Professor Moriarty, if they are never truly required to lock horns? Granted, the disappointing Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows ups the ante by transforming Moriarty from a criminal mastermind into a weapons manufacturer intent on profiting from an impending global conflict of his own making. Unfortunately, director Guy Ritchie and his screenwriters cannot concoct a clever and intriguing battle of wits that requires these adversaries to outsmart, outplay and outlast the other. Instead, Ritchie is more concerned with employing Holmes’ brawn to bone-crushing effect and executing loud but admittedly rousing action sequences. Mad Men’s Jared Harris possesses the intellect to play Moriarty, but he’s given nothing to do other than to engage in one stare-down contest with Robert Downey Jr.’s Holmes after another. The same applies to The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo’s Noomi Rapace, whose role as a fortune-telling gypsy is practically superfluous to the plot. On the other hand, Holmes’ brother Mycroft, the sardonic Stephen Fry is a fun and welcomed addition to the franchise. A little bit of Fry goes a long way, especially as Downey’s manic-genius act wears thin very quickly in A Game of Shadows. No wonder Jude Law’s Dr. Watson is even more annoyed with Holmes than he was in the first film. The good doctor just wants to get on with his honeymoon. After enduring A Game of Shadows, Watson’s pain and frustration becomes our pain and frustration.
Aired: Dec. 15, 2011
Web site: http://sherlockholmes2.warnerbros.com/