Downey charms in overblown movie

Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows Warner Bros. Rating: PG 129 minutes

This reviewer was not a huge fan of 2009’s Sherlock Holmes, where the literary sleuth was played as an action hero by the admittedly charming Robert Downey, Jr.

But since it made something like half a billion worldwide we are now subjected to the inevitable sequel, Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows. Fans of the first movie seem to like it better than the original, and it’s probably a better overall film.

This time Holmes and Dr. Watson (Jude Law) are up against their archenemy Moriarty (Jared Harris), trying to start a war between France and Germany. Stephen Fry has a small but enjoyable role as Sherlock’s wiser brother, Mycroft. There’s an army of stuntmen and special effects people to enhance the non-stop action as they pursue the villain across France, Germany and Switzerland.

Sherlock Holmes was created by English writer Sir Arthur Conan Doyle in 1887 and became very popular. But Doyle never like his cerebral Victorian detective and even tried to kill him off. However, public demand eventually forced him to write 56 stories, and even four novels, about the character.

Sherlock Holmes movies are a Hollywood staple, there are many versions, series of films or TV shows and this newcomer only continues the tradition. While this particular Holmes movie is too long and overblown, fans of the franchise will be happy to know Sherlock Holmes 3 is already in planning.

Rating: three deer out of five

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Alf Cryderman is a Red Deer freelance writer and old movie buff.

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