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Soundtrack review: Sherlock Holmes – A game of shadows (Hans Zimmer – 2012)

Composer of the month Hans Zimmer Hans Zimmer month

Soundtrack review: Sherlock Holmes – A game of shadows (Hans Zimmer – 2012)


After the fun I had listening to “Sherlock Holmes”, I couldn’t wait to get a second serving in “A game of shadows”. Even if it was slightly more serious, the second movie was as fun as the first one.

The score begins with the Shadows trilogy, three cues worth almost 18 minutes. I think that because I was expecting fun Romani music from the beginning, I couldn’t connect very well from the first listen with the first two parts, “I see everything” and “Tick tock”. These cues are dark, moody and very enjoyable, but there’s no emotional appeal for me. They are closer to “The Dark knight” mood, and somehow I expected something else for Sherlock. There are shadows of the main theme in “Chess”, which is even more ominous then the first two. I love how this cue is constructed. It’s like I’m in a dense forest; I feel its presence, and little motifs I know rear their heads from time to time from behind a tree. I get lively and try to follow them but the darkness returns and I feel lost again.

Once we’re out of the woods, the gypsy party is back. “It’s so over is covert” is an accordion and violin version of the main Sherlock theme. From then on, it’s party time, except that I’m in my room listening to this score, very sober, so it’s nothing more than fun to listen to. I feel that Hans and his team might have exaggerated with the fun in this second score. If I want to listen to instrumentation like this, I have my old and trusted Goran Bregovic scores which are even more ethnically authentic.

When Hans is back to his usual brilliance, we get cues like “The red book” and “Moral insanity” which are the best from “A game of shadows”. Overall, this second score pales in comparison to the first. Once the freshness of the sound is gone, all we’re left with are some wacky party cues.

My ratings: 66 / 100

Total minutes of excellence: 12 / 54

Album excellence: 22%


The Red Book

Moral Insanity

Mihnea Manduteanu

I have been listening to film music for 25 years and writing about it since 2014. I've written over 1000 reviews and I can't imagine myself doing anything else. I am also a member of IFMCA (International Film Music Critics Association).

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