Film review: Sherlock Holmes – A Game of Shadows

Written by: Sion Smith

Let’s make a statement before we begin: The only thing Game of Shadows really has to do with anything authentically Sherlockian is that it has some dude called Sherlock Holmes in it. 

If you can accept that as being the way things are, you’ll get on just fine with Game of Shadows.

Review of Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows

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

To be fair to all concerned, if you were going to play it by the book, you could never come up with anything better than the Jeremy Brett series anyway. Thus, fucking with the format is all you’re left with and if you’re going to leave one man in charge of format fucking, Guy Richie is just the one to run with.

The end result is some great action sequences, a solid plot, superb acting from all concerned and one or two exceptional set pieces. All in all, it’s utterly excellent – so why I have a slightly bitter aftertaste in my mouth, I’m not sure.

Maybe it’s because it’s a Sherlock Holmes movie and I didn’t get a Sherlock Holmes that I recognise. The movie could have been called Young Indiana Jones – A Game of Shadows and the world wouldn’t have missed a beat.

A big, slick, fun movie that should please everybody but it’s a bit like walking into your house and finding somebody moved all the furniture around while you were out.

Author: Sion Smith

My name is Sion Smith. I write about rock music, books and pop-culture – kind of like a rock n roll Nick Hornby or maybe Hank Moody with hair. Sion is pronounced as in Sean Connery/Shawn Michaels – take your pick. If you’re interested, it’s Welsh. I'm also the editor of Skin Deep, the biggest selling tattoo magazine in the UK and harbour designs on writing for Doctor Who – these two things are not related. Aside from that, I’m currently working on a TV screenplay called Fox On The Run and also contribute articles to The Void - which you know already because you're here. You can jump on the feed of my own blog at

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