On the eve of his wedding day, Doctor Watson is persuaded by his erstwhile partner in crime to go head to head with their arch nemesis in a game of international cat and mouse.
The Victorian bromance continues as the bickering detectives cut a swathe across Europe in pursuit of the nefarious Professor Moriarty, leaving a trail of computer generated carnage in their wake. Subtlety certainly takes a back seat as A Game Of Shadows follows the usual blockbuster sequel formula of assuming that “dumber and louder” equals “better”, with the homo-eroticism of the first film in particular ramped up to Carry On proportions. Unlike the Indiana Jones vibe of the previous film, the plot here is very much a James Bond-style tale of espionage full of Tommy guns, explosions, disguises and international intrigue which makes it all very episodic. The dialogue of double act Downey and Law is not as sparky or fresh this time around, but they are still very likeable and the breathless pace makes for an enjoyable romp that consistently entertains.
As ever it is not the measure of the original, but as a piece of popular entertainment in its own right, it’s a lot of fun.