Robert Downey Jr.'s return as the title character in Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows can be both fun and tiring.
You have to think that the actor was destined to play the great detective. Who else can generate boredom and excitement within the same moment as well as Downey? Like Holmes, he always seems impatient to get on with it and not have to wait around to explain things to lesser mortals.
Too much of that, as there is in this film, can be a bit off-putting.
Director Guy Ritchie's follow-up to the 2009 hit finds Holmes assisted as ever by faithful Dr. Watson (Jude Law) and pitted against his archnemesis, Professor Moriarty (Mad Men's Jared Harris).
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The plot, as in all Holmes stories no matter who concocts them, is diabolically complicated, though this might be helped by Ritchie. The director — in what is a theme for the film — always seems to be in a hurry to get on to the action scenes, which are mostly clever in their staging, though Ritchie is too reliant on his slow-motion techniques.
For female excitement, temptress Rachel McAdams from the first film makes an appearance, but she is quickly replaced by Noomi Rapace, wearing long hair and Gypsy clothes, and who, unfortunately, doesn't have enough to do in the movie.
As an action film, A Game of Shadows is passable; as a Sherlock Holmes film, the only logical conclusion is not really.
Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows retails for $28.99 or $35.99 Blu-ray.