While it wasn't for everybody, I actually liked the first installment in Guy Ritchie's Sherlock Holmes series. The energy between the three lead actors--Robert Downey, Jr., Jude Law, and Rachel McAdams--was intoxicating, and their banter was engaging.
Unfortunately, nearly everything that worked in the first one is absent from Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows. The witty banter is largely missing. The chemistry between Downey and McAdams is gone because she is taken out of the picture in the first ten minutes. She is replaced with the leaden Noomi Rapace, whose Roma fortune teller brings little to the tale. The dialogue between the rakish Holmes and Watson lacks the verve that was present in the first.
And despite the fact that he's finally facing off against the supervillain, Dr. James Moriarty (played effectively by Jared Harris), the action sequences, especially the one in the woods, are so obfuscated by Guy Ritchie's infatuation with that herky-jerky, computer-generated, stop-and-start editing of action set pieces as to have been rendered completely unintelligible.
If you liked the first one, this is quite a let-down. If you didn't, you'd like it even less.