Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows

[3.5 stars] Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows (2011) on IMDb [Amazon]

So Mrs. Salad and I took advantage of a nice feature of summertime at the University Near Here: free second-run movies at the Memorial Union Building theatres. And we hadn't seen Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows yet.

Not bad, if you can get past the idea of Holmes as an Indiana Jones-style action hero, constantly in mortal danger, getting out of scrapes not only via his massive mental powers, but also his martial arts skills and weaponry. I don't want to check to see how fast Sir Arthur Conan Doyle is spinning in his grave.

The plot pits Sherlock (Robert Downey Jr.) against his nemesis Moriarty (Jared Harris). He is assisted, of course, by Dr. Watson (Jude Law), who's getting married to the lovely Mary (Kelly Reilly). Unfortunately, in addition to striving for world domination, Moriarty has also pledged to wreak deadly revenge against Watson and his new wife; this is used as an excuse for Holmes to drag Watson along—as if he'd be left out!

In addition, they pick up a Gypsy assistant, intensely played by Noomi Rapace, the Dragon Tattoo girl herself. She's great, but could I just once see her in a comedy? See her smile?

There are a lot of impressive action scenes, and (of course) the climax occurs at the Reichenbach Falls. Holmes fans know how that works out.

(Consumer notes: not only these MUB flicks free, but also split into "family friendly" and "quiet" theatres. Air conditioned. And did I mention free? Downside: it's off a DVD, and the kids who spun it up played at least a few seconds of the movie to test the setup. So we missed a bit of the beginning.)

Last Modified 2012-09-21 10:13 AM EDT