198. Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows (B+)
An improvement on Guy Ritchie's first film in this series in just about every way (the series may end at two films, given the box office returns of this sequel, unfortunately), I'm still hesitant to see Sherlock Holmes re-imagined as a fist-fighting action hero, but I have a hard time denying how much fun this movie is. Every character is perfectly cast, with Jared Harris and Stephen Fry as wonderful additions to the cast of the first film. Rachel McAdams, sadly, is limited to a short cameo at the beginning, but there would have really been no room for her. There's some excessive slow motion in one or two scenes (the forest escape seemed to drag on using the effect), but for the most part it's wisely employed to portray Holmes' mental process rather than pad out the action.
In any event, whatever my misgivings about the use of the Holmes character in this fashion, the movie was leaps and bounds better than any of the trailers for action movies that ran before it.