Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows (2011)

Starring: Robert Downey Jr, Jude Law, Noomi Rapace, Jared Harris, Rachel McAdams, Stephen Fry, Geraldine James, Eddie Marsan, Kelly Reilly, Paul Anderson

Directed by: Guy Ritchie

Rating: 1 2 3 and a half

Noomi Rapace, Robert Downey Jr and Jude Law in Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows

Okay, confession time. I may not be the most competent person to review the latest outing from Guy Ritchie's steampunk Sherlock Holmes because (a) I'm still very much in thrall to Benedict Cumberbatch's austere, acerbic, razor-sharp sleuth, who I encountered for the first time last night, and (b) cuz I kinda zizzed through the film a wee bit...

Whether this is my fault or the film's I'm not quite sure. Certainly Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows slices through the mythology of Baker Street's most famous resident with the same pizzazz and exuberant disregard for Sir Arthur Conan Doyle as the previous film, and the relationship between Robert Downey Jr's disreputable Holmes and Jude Law's long-suffering, stoic Dr Watson crackles with the same joyous energy, yet somehow the endless fast and furious action sequences failed to capture my attention for long and hence... zzzz...

Jared Harris as Professor Moriarty and Robert Downey Jr as Sherlock Holmes in A Game of Shadows

I also can't help thinking that, to save time, I could just copy and paste my review of the previous film in here as everything I said then still holds true. Sure, the plot has changed – this time it's Holmes's nemesis Professor Moriarty (Jared Harris) who's plotting to take over the world with a serious of devious Macchiavellian machinations involving weapons, terrorism and experimental surgery and, with the unsatisfactory Irene Adler safely dispatched (sorry, spoiler alert) we have the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo herself, Noomi Rapace, as a feisty gypsy Madam Simza. Oh, and Stephen Fry, who steals every scene as Holmes's delightfully eccentric brother Mycroft – just watch out for Nude Day...

If you enjoyed the last film you'll like this one too: it's fast-paced, funny and full of beans, with some truly spectacular set pieces exquisitely executed by cast and director – the explosive scene at the Paris opera, as Moriarty's evil plans unfurl against the climax of Don Giovanni, is particularly jaw-dropping. But at this moment, for me, compared to Mark Gatiss's super-sharp script, it just seems a little too saturated with Hollywood excess and, dare I say it, a little... elementary.

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