Review: Thrills and spills with all-action Sherlock Holmes movie

16:36 16 December 2011

Jude Law as Dr Watson and Robert Downey Jr as Sherlock Holmes take cover

Jude Law as Dr Watson and Robert Downey Jr as Sherlock Holmes take cover

© 2010 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. - - U.S., Canada, Bahamas & Bermuda?© 2010Village Roadshow Films (BVI) Limited - - All Ot

More than 70 actors have donned the deerstalker and puffed away at the pip of the legendary fictional detective Sherlock Holmes in the movies, on television and on the radio.

Sherlock Holmes - A Game of Shadows (12)a is the second outing for Hollywood actor Robert Downey Jr who is paired with Jude Law as his Doctor Watson.

Whilst the traditional image of Holmes is of a cerebral detective whose brain works overtime and uses his deductive skills to foil the criminals this version is more of an action man and more of a looker than the fictional character created by Conan Doyle.

It’s not so much a whodunnit in the film directed by Guy Ritchie as a race to stop Holmes’s nemesis the evil Professor Moriarty from achieving his aim of world domination.

The action opens in late nineteenth century Europe when anarchists are beginning to play a part on the political stage and industrialisation gives scope to developing armaments and war machines which have the potential of delivering power into malignant hands.

Jared Harris’s Moriarty is well placed to take advantage of these changes but is plagued by the sleuthing of Holmes.

However he spots several chinks in the armour of the detective of 221B Baker Street - his friendship for the newly married Dr Watson and his fascination with Moriarty’s associate Irene Adler, a role reprised by Rachel McAdams.

The professor threatens to take revenge by injuring Watson and his bride Mary (Kelly Reilly).

The stakes are raised and a cat and mouse game ensues.

What follows is a fast paced all action adventure with a detective who also has a nifty left hook and is certainly far from infallible.

The amateur detectives’ investigation takes them across Europe where they recruit gypsy girl Sim, played by The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo star Noomi Rapace.

They are also helped by Sherlock’s brother eccentric but brilliant Mycroft played by Stephen Fry who provides some of the film’s humour with his encounter with the new Mrs Watson.

The eagle-eyed will spot London landmarks as the Old Royal Naval College in Greenwich was used for a sleight of hand trick at the start of the movie and provided the exterior shots for an auction house.

Wilton’s Music Hall in Shadwell hosted Dr Watson’s stag night as the action heats up.

Purists may object that this is an all action movie - but it keeps you on the edge of your seat and is a thrilling film-going offering this Christmas.

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