‘Sherlock Holmes’ sequel keeps you guessing

 Reviewed by Braxton Rickert
Times-News correspondent

 In 2009, director Guy Ritchie showed us a fresh take on Sherlock Holmes, which proved there was still life in the old tales yet. And with the sequel, “Sherlock Holmes: Game of Shadows,” Ritchie does it again, as Holmes faces, in his words, “the single most important case of my career.”

This movie, like its predecessor, stars Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law as Sherlock Holmes and Dr. John Watson, respectively. 

“Game of Shadows,” which premiered Dec. 16, continues some of the storylines started in the first movie, though viewing the first one isn’t a requirement to see this one, it is recommended. Any viewer who hasn’t seen the original will catch up quickly as long as they can infer and use common sense. And those who have seen the first will enjoy this just as much, if not more.

The movie follows the formula of the first using a unique balance of action and mystery and a touch of humor throughout. But “Game of Shadows” also reaches back to its roots in the original Sherlock Holmes stories by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. For example, the movie begins with Watson typing away at a typewriter and bringing the audience up to speed, effectively placing him in the narrator’s role just like Doyle’s stories did.

While narrating, Watson starts in about Holmes chasing his love interest from the last film, played by Rachel McAdams. And soon after, he goes toe-to-toe with his arch nemesis, and one of the most beloved villains of all time — Professor James Moriarty, played by Jared Harris. Their facing off is what makes the movie as enjoyable as it is.

Both the characters of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. John Watson are masterminds, and both are brilliantly portrayed. Every great hero has his match. There’s always that one villain that can bring the hero down. With Batman, it’s the Joker and with Luke Skywalker, it’s Darth Vader. Moriarty is Holmes’ most deadly villain, which makes for an exciting movie experience.

This film is for adventure lovers, mystery cravers and those looking for a good story and a good time. Fans of the original stories, as well as newcomers, will thoroughly enjoy this film for what it is — a game between Sherlock Holmes and Professor Moriarty. And the movie really leaves you guessing about who is going to win; it’s a battle of wits.

But who is the greatest mastermind here? Is it Holmes’ keen mind and aptitude for heroism, or Moriarty and his calculating brain and cold manner? In my opinion, it’s Guy Ritchie, who can write and direct a brilliant film pitting the two together.

Check out Guy Ritchie’s “Sherlock Holmes: Game of Shadows,” which is currently showing in theaters nationwide; it is rated PG-13 for intense sequences of violence and action.

 Braxton Rickert is a senior at River Mill Academy and a Teens & Twenties writer.


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