It is very rare to walk into a film with EXTREMELY high expectations and not be disappointed. A great example of this is 'Green Lantern,' all froth, no bite. I was wishing for lots of yellow bullets to end the movie...
'Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows' exceeded my expectations and more. In my lowly opinion, I found it superior to the original. The additions of Mycroft Holmes (the brilliant Stephen Fry) and Professor James Moriarty (Jared Harris) have completed Guy Ritchie's Sherlock circle. Their impeccable timing and grace on the screen is nothing short of a dance you never want to end.
As with the original, the action sequences are well-paced and stylized. Noomi Rapace holds her own as Madam Simza Heron. Her introduction in the film is breathtaking fun. I love a ballsy gypsy chick! Kelly Reilly, Mary Watson, has also found her voice. I thought that she lost her way in the first Sherlock. She was one of the few characters that didn't hold depth. Mary was relegated to window dressing. They more than make up for it this time.
All in all, this film is one of my favourite of the year, behind perhaps 'Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2', but just barely...
Without giving anything away, listen to the music. It sets up a GREAT plot twist!
Pagan Content: The dance of the Tarot and the gypsy village scenes with make your sad little Pagan heart sing. I found their portrayal gratifying.
***There is nothing after the credits, but stay for the score. It is fantastic!***