When Guy Ritchie signed on to direct 2009’s Sherlock Holmes, he said he sought to “make a very contemporary film as far as the tone and texture”, because it has been “a relatively long time since there’s been a film version that people embraced.” Given Sherlock Holmes $524,028,679 million box-office, it’s safe to say that Richie managed to successfully modernize the franchise to the public’s liking, and a sequel was inevitable.
As his long-time friend and partner in crime-solving, Dr. John Watson (Jude Law) prepares to marry his beloved Mary Morstan (Kelly Reilly), Sherlock Holmes (Robert Downey, Jr.) finds himself embroiled in a new case. A series of mysterious, politically themed bombings have Sherlock thwarting an attack on an auction house, while trying to determine the source of the terrorism.
As one might expect, Watson is more concerned about pre-and-post wedding matters than he is Sherlock’s latest case. However, it’s not long before Holmes learns he’s really going to need his partner’s dedicated assistance. With Sherlock hot on the trail of rival Professor James Moriarty (Jared Harris) and his possible connection to the bombings, Watson is inclined to believe this all one of Holmes’ paranoid conspiracy theories. That all changes when Watson and his new bride are attacked on their honeymoon; Watson decides he has little choice but to join his friend on one more case. While Watson will prove indispensable, the help of a mysterious gypsy woman named Simza (Noomi Rapace) and Holmes’s brother Mycroft (Stephen Fry) will also play an important role in bringing down this madman.
Like many sequels to box of hits, Game of Shadows stays close to its predecessor in terms of structure and tone. Even if some of the main action set pieces border on the ridiculous—a train journey where Holmes dresses as a woman to protect Watson and Mary, comes to mind—director Guy Ritchie manages to quickly get the story back on track, while capturing the undeniable chemistry between Robert Downey, Jr. and Jude Law.
Presented in the 2.40.1 aspect ratio, this is a satisfying 4K presentation, featuring well balanced blacks and fine textural details. Colors are nicely saturated and fairly vivid. Contrast does vary at times, and I noticed a few instances of flickering which may have been due to special effects.
The 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track serves the film very well. Dialogue remains clear throughout and surrounds are nicely rendered. Action sequences have solid heft and an immersive quality. LFE drops in with explosions, but never pushes things over the edge. While this track won’t rock your house, it’s a solid effort from Warner.
English, Latin, Spanish, Castilian, French, German, Dutch, Mandarin, Cantonese, Japanese, Korean, Arabic, Czech, Danish, Finnish, Hungarian, Norwegian, Polish, Romanian, Swedish and Thai subtitles are included.
No extras appear on the 4K disc, but the included Blu-ray offers the following:
- Maximum Movie Mode with Robert Downey, Jr. (2:08:44) The actor hosts the enhanced picture-in-picture commentary feature, which includes still image galleries, on-set interviews with the cast and crew, behind-the-scenes footage matched with their respective scenes, links to Focus Points (which are also accessible independently), and Downey, Jr. providing commentary on key sequences. There are a few gaps between Movie Mode elements, but users can easily skip to the next set with a directional button on the remote.
- Focus Points (HD, 34:59)
- Holmesavision on Steroids (HD, 4:02) The filmmakers describe how they amplified the presentation of Holmes predictive abilities.
- Moriarty’s Master Plan Unleashed (HD, 7:09) Takes a look at the character Moriarity and the actor who plays him.
- Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson: A Perfect Chemistry (HD, 5:18) Downey, Jr. and Law talk about working together and the Holmes-Watson relationship.
- Meet Mycroft Holmes (HD, 5:30) Takes a look at the Mycroft Holmes and the actor who plays him.
- Sherlock Holmes: Under the Gypsy Spell (HD, 4:02) Takes a look at Madam Simza Heron and the actress who plays her.
- Guy Richie’s Well-Oiled Machine (HD, 3:04) Cast and crew discuss working with Guy Ritchie.
- Holmes Without Borders (HD, 5:51) A look at the film’s various international production locations.
- Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows Movie App: The free app for both iOS and Android devices provides additional content in context with the film after a simple sync. Get script-to-screen comparisons, maps, character bios and more. This is perfect for an extras junkie!
Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows (2012)
Movie title: Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows
Director(s): Guy Ritchie
Actor(s): Robert Downey Jr.,, Jude Law,, Noomi Rapace,, Jared Harris, Rachel McAdams,, Stephen Fry
Genre: Action, Adventure, Thriller, Period, Crime, Mystery