Sherlock Holmes, A Game of Shadows
Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson are back as the greatest consulting detective team of all time; and they face their greatest foe, a man of equally immense intellect and who is far more devious than either of them: Dr. James Moriarty. Jared Harris stars as the infamous Moriarty who leads the duo on a chase around Europe as he tries to start a world war. His goal is simply to benefit by selling both the weapons and the bandages to all sides. Holmes and Watson enlist the help of a gypsy (Noomi Rapace); Sherlock's broother Mycroft (Stephen Fry); and even Watson's wife, Mary.
Guy Ritchie helms this feature, bringing back the same great cast as the first film with Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law as Sherlock and Watson. Rachel McAdams is back as Irene Adler, and some appearances are made by Eddie Marsan as Inspector Lestrade and William Houston as Constable Clark.
One of the newest members of this cast is Noomi Rapace, whom you may have heard of if you are a foreign film fan. Rapace played Lisbeth Salander in the Millenium Trilogy (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, ...Played with Fire, and ...Kicked the Hornet's Nest) and does a fantastic job as gypsy Madam Simza Heron, who, along with Holmes and Watson, is on the search for her brother. Another new face is Stephen Fry, whom you know if you watch TV or movies from time to time. He is Sherlock Holmes' brother, Mycroft. Mycroft works for the British empire, and no one is quite sure in what capacity exactly. Fry does a fine job as Mycroft, and has a slightly different on-screen take compared to how he has been portrayed by others in the past. Mycroft is a bit quirky here (as the Holmes' family appears to be) and not the "normal" brother that is usually shown.
This movie has a slightly different feel from the first one, but is still on par. Ritchie has a different version of the "Holmes Vision" where Sherlock plays out in his head how events, mainly fights, are going to go. The feel of the movie is the same, chocked full of both humor and wit and action and detective work. The locations are gorgeous, including a gorgeous scene in Switzerland during a peace summit.
One of my personal favorite things of any movie is the editing. James Herbert is the film editor and often with Guy Ritchie. One of the more interesting sequences, Herbert emulates how Sherlock sees the world. During a scene set at the peace summit in Switzerland, Simza asks Sherlock, "What do you see?" His reply is "Everything. That is my curse," and Herbert does a great job of showing that.
So the bottom line? I really liked it. I'd give it an 9 out of 11. Odds are if you liked the first one you'll like this one, or if you're a Guy Ritchie fan or Robert Downly Jr. fan you'll like this. I recommend you see it at some point, whether on the Big Screen or on DVD.