Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows
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A Note Regarding Spoilers

The following FAQ entries may contain spoilers. Only the biggest ones (if any) will be covered with spoiler tags. Spoiler tags have been used sparingly in order to make the page more readable.

For detailed information about the amounts and types of (a) sex and nudity, (b) violence and gore, (c) profanity, (d) alcohol, drugs, and smoking, and (e) frightening and intense scenes in this movie, consult the IMDb Parents Guide for this movie. The Parents Guide for Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows can be found here.

Even if there are many similarities with Conan Doyle's books, we could assume the new Sherlock Holmes movie follows its own lead. But we should also notice that in the original story, in which Holmes encounters Moriarty personally, there is also an appearance of Mycroft Holmes, Sherlock's older brother. The whole story in the books takes place basically in Switzerland and London. It is mentioned that Guy Ritchie examined carefully "The Final Problem" and "The Adventure of the Empty House" in order to stay as close as possible to the original story.

Professor James Moriarty was created by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle primarily to serve as a narrative device to kill off Sherlock Holmes. Moriarty is a criminal mastermind, described by Holmes as the "Napoleon of Crime". Doyle lifted the phrase from a real Scotland Yard inspector who was referring to Adam Worth (1844-1902), a thief whose criminal career spanned over two decades. Other real world models for Moriarty were Sir Basil Zaharoff (1849-1936), a Greek arms dealer whose unscrupulous business practices earned him the nickname "the Merchant of Death," and Simon Newcomb (1835-1909) a renowned mathemetician who tried to ruin the reputations of rival scientists. By combining Worth's criminal savvy, Newcomb's mathematical genius, and Zaharoff's Machiavellian ruthlessness, Doyle created what is widely considered to be the first true example of a supervillain. Because he is depicted as Holmes' greatest enemy, Moriarty is considered to be the primary antagonist of the entire series, despite only making one physical appearance, in the story "The Final Problem" (he is mentioned reminiscently in five other stories set after the events of "The Final Problem", and operates behind-the-scenes in "The Valley of Fear" which was published after "The Final Problem" but set before it). Other writers used him more frequently, cementing his reputation as Holmes' arch-enemy. The film's depiction of Moriarty physically resembles Worth, but overall bears the strongest similarities to Zaharoff, as he is attempting to provoke a war using advanced weaponry that he has developed. Zaharoff was privy to the latest developments in weapon technology (including the Maxim Gun which provided the real world inspiration for the film's "Little Hansel"), and during the Second Boer War, the Russo Japanese War, and World War I, he sold weapons to both sides in order to exacerbate the conflict and maximize profits.

Who is Mycroft Holmes?

Mycroft Holmes (Stephen Fry) is a fictional character in the stories written by Arthur Conan Doyle. He is the elder brother (by seven years) of the famous detective Sherlock Holmes. Possessing deductive powers exceeding even those of his younger brother, Mycroft is nonetheless incapable of performing detective work similar to that of Sherlock since he is unwilling to put in the physical effort necessary to bring cases to their conclusions. Nonetheless, if given all the facts and by the use of his superior deductive powers, he is able deduce the solution to any problem or case from the comfort of an armchair. This has led the British and other European governments as well as royalty to frequently consult Mycroft's analytical mind on a number of key political decisions and strategies.

The trailer was released on the 13 June, 2011 and can been viewed here.

The scriptwriters are already starting to work on the early draft for Sherlock Holmes 3. But whether Sherlock Holmes 3 will be made or not, depends on the success and public response of Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows.

Early in the film, Mycroft mentions, in a quiet tone, something along the lines of 'hoping this business gets done before the peace summit up in Reichenbach,' more than likely so as to be subtle enough that people familiar with Sherlock Holmes' novels would catch it. When Conan Doyle grew tired of writing about Sherlock, he had him fall, with Professor Moriarty, at Reichenbach. In this film, the party is going to Reichenbach, and the two fall once more. Public demand for more stories forced the good doctor to write (as Dr. Watson) again, explaining how Holmes had not died but returned to life. In "The Adventure of the Empty House," the Conan Doyle story where Holmes returns "from the dead" (after THREE years away without telling Watson where he was), Holmes explains that he actually did NOT go over the falls with Moriarty - he pushed Moriarty over but did not fall himself. Instead, he clung to a ledge while someone (revealed to be Col. Sebastian Moran) heaved rocks at him, and then he escaped -- whereupon he goes on his famous travels to Asia, France, etc. The movie alters this story, as clearly both Holmes and Moriarty go off the balcony and fall down the frightening Reichenbach falls. Holmes, however, does not seem injured by the fall and avoids drowning by using Mycroft's oxygen inhaler device.

After the soldiers fire "Little Hansel" (an artillery cannon that apparently fires individual shots that can rip apart trees), Holmes, Watson, and Simza are knocked to the ground by the shockwave of the blast. Holmes and Watson get up seeing the soldiers approaching. Though a little confusing because the fight happens in a matter of seconds, this is what is seen: (1) Watson grabs one soldier's rifle and twists it, throwing its owner over, (2) Holmes trades punches with another soldier using his good hand, (3) Simza knocks aside another soldier, (4) a fourth soldier swings his rifle at Holmes, who kicks him in the chest, (5) a soldier brains Simza with the butt of his rifle, knocking her down; as he aims his rifle, Watson shoots and kills him with a pistol, (6) Holmes knocks out another soldier as another cannonball hits nearby, forcing him to grab onto a nearby tree, (7) another soldier advances on Holmes, who successfully dodges a shot fired at point-blank range (missing and hitting the tree instead); Holmes grabs the soldier's rifle, ejects the round, and knocks him out then chambers a new round in a matter of seconds, passes the rifle to Watson, who shoots and wounds Moran as Moran crests a rise, and (8) as the party escapes on the train, Moran comes to his senses, steadies his breathing, aims his rifle, and picks off the unlucky gypsy bringing up the back of the escapees.

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