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Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows / Rated PG-13 for violence in slow motion and at regular speed.

This is the sequel to Sherlock Holmes and is basically the same movie with a few changes. Moriarty, the arch villain is now front and center. He was apparently behind the bad doings in the original film but stayed in the background. Now he is everywhere. SHAGOS is based very loosely on the A. Conan Doyle story, The Final Problem. This was the narrative where ACD, tired of writing about the SH character, killed him off in a big finale at the Reichenbach Falls in Switzerland. He took Moriarty with him and left Watson behind to look after his patients and wife.

This time out, SH and Dr. W take on the ultimate in evil. Dr. James Moriarty is the Napoleon of crime and a tenured Professor who didn’t want to end up like Mr. Chips. He wants more. Lots more. He is up to no good. He will destroy anybody who gets in his way. He will perform any dastardly act to gain money and power. He detests kittens.

The cast is mostly the same as last time. The direction again done by Guy Ritchie includes the same slow motion action sequences and moments of intellectual brilliance. Robert Downey Jr. provides the action and brilliance and a little humor when he dresses up in what looks like a dress worn by Ma Kettle on a Saturday night out at the Grange Hall. The scenes are big and the costuming sumptuous. RDJ is forced to intermix his eccentric Sherlock Holmes with Chuck Norris to perform all the fight sequences. Jude Law is again the long suffering and now happily wedded groom although his honeymoon plans have to be put on hold to aid SH in his battle against JM and his demonic minions.

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Hans Zimmer provides the same thematic and period music as he did in 2009. He also adds a homage to Italian film composer Ennio Morricone. In the scene where the good guys take to horse back except for SH,

who decides to ride a donkey, HZ uses the two primary themes Morricone created for the Clint Eastwood and Shirley MacLaine Western Two Mules for Sister Sara (1970). You will no doubt notice this on your own.

The story, The Final Problem, appeared in print in The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes in December 1893. It took Doyle until 1905 to bring Sherlock back from his supposed death to appear in the story collection The Return of Sherlock Holmes. Although this film does contain the same ending, more or less, as the story, it doesn’t take the filmmakers as long to bring SH back to life. You can bet the sequel to this film will be out in a couple of years not in 2023. How did I figure this out you ask? Elementary.

Rated 3.0 out of 4.0 reasons to also look forward to the updated Sherlock Holmes saga in the upcoming 3 episode sequel to the BBC series Sherlock which premiered in July and August 2010. Along with the series Lonesome Dove (1989), I consider Sherlock the best writing ever for TV.

 Do What You Can With What You Have Where You Are. Teddy Roosevelt

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