Very clever, of course…The year is 1891, and Watson(Jude Law) is to be married on the morrow. Holmes (Robert Downey, Jr.), however, has other plans to revive Watson’s sense of adventure. After a very brawling, drunken night, Holmes delivers a much-hungover Watson to the church, almost on time, to wed Mary (Kelly Reilly). However, the honeymoon is cut short on the train ride to Brighton, where the feisty woman is thrown from the train in order to save her from Moriarty’s thugs.
From the get-go, Holmes suspects that Professor Moriarty (Jared Harris) is behind the death of the Crown Prince of Austria, as well as multiple bombings in London and Europe, in order to antagonize tensions among nations with the horrible intent to start a world war. Holmes’ deductions lead him to locations where disaster strikes, not in time to stop them but to witness them. Moriarty, it appears, is always just steps ahead of Sherlock, or Sherly as his brother Mycroft (Stephen Fry) calls him. It is a sparring of the minds that the bad guy seems to be winning, but Holmes is not about to be undone. There is fighting and action galore, but perhaps a bit too much. Moriarty and Holmes meet peacefully several times in between the rampant action that mimics Sherlock’s constant, hyper thought processes. The only thing that gives him pause is the death of his lady friend, Irene (Rachel McAdams) early on.
“A Game of Shadows” takes Holmes, Watson, and Moriarty from London to Paris to Reichenback Falls in the Swiss Alps, where the climax is not the end.
Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars.
[Continuity: At one point, Sherlock acquired a deep cut to his left cheek, which was not there in a subsesquent scene – and it could not possibly have healed in such a short amount of time – but was back on his face a couple scenes later. Of course, he got beat up so much it’s no wonder the script supervisor couldn’t keep track of every injury.]