After the discussion of the Enola Holmes film, I watched Sherlock Holmes: Game of Shadows again over the weekend.
Still good! I have really warmed up to RDJ's Holmes. He is definitely not in the classic mold of Sherlocks of the past. Unrelentingly Extrovert and definitely not lanky and skinny. Holmes may be a pugilist in practice, but RDJ is built like one. He's got excellent Sherlock hair, and what I think makes him successful overall is that Holmes esprit of indefatigable self-confidence & enthusiasm for the game afoot. He tends to be very nasty to Mrs. Hudson, and she takes the exasperation to a new level . . I think we miss the maternal indulgence of her relationship with her troublesome tenant, and I do not recall Sherlock of canon every being intentionally rude. Demanding, yes, but he always makes it up to her. I think Mrs. H. has come 'round to accepting that life without SH living upstairs would be a lot more peaceful, but a lot more dull.
The chess showdown with Moriarty at the Reichenbach Falls is the highlight of that film, and for me, personally, I think it's the highlight of RDJ's performance as Holmes across both films. We've seen him have a great romp and chew the scenery and do the disguises with relish--but when it's just he and Moriarty in a room having a quiet, if malignant conversation, finally we see the gravitas and heroism of Sherlock Holmes, in his 'final sacrifice'. And unlike the story of Dr. Watson, he truly does go over the Falls with his adversary. No trickery here--he sees his duty through to the end.
And then turns up in Watson's flat in his urban camouflage. Sherlock Holmes is, as ever, truly indestructible. But as RDJ plays that final scene, Sherlock Holmes has accepted that he is falling to his death--an acceptable price for taking Moriarty out. Jared Harris's Moriarty is, in my opinion, and absent any cinematic rendition of Michael Kurland's Moriarty, the most fully-realized Moriarty we have ever had on screen. He is bad to the core, but ultimately, views himself as a businessman. He's got zero desire for fame or recognition as a criminal mastermind--he just wants obscene sums of money profiting off death and destruction.
As an Englishman, please offer your judgement on Mr. Downey's British accent. It sounds passable to me as a relatively posh accent but it could totally suck.