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Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows

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  • Holmes and Moriarty playing a game of chess without looking at the board, knowing exactly where every piece is, and at the same time discussing their plans.
  • Moriarty sticking a fish hook into Holmes and spinning him round and round while singing along to a German opera about a man who wanted to catch a fish, or something like that. A moment of surreal brilliance. Made doubly awesome by the fact that Holmes stole Moriarty's notebook during the scene and put the illustration mentioned below into it.
  • Moriarty's Reveal to Irene Adler in the dining hall. If you simply must know, Irene is drinking tea in plain sight whilst Moriarty sits behind a red curtain, continuing the motif of the faceless character from the first film. They are chatting when Moran, nearby, clangs a cup twice, and the ENTIRE dining hall clears out except for Irene and Moriarty. It is at this point Moriarty reveals himself.
    • The opera scene is where Moriarty firmly establishes himself as a Magnificent Bastard. Holmes has followed a trail of clues leading him to a bomb Moriarty has planted at an opera house. Holmes gets backstage, reaches a platform beneath the stage...and there's no bomb. Instead, there's a chess piece (a king) sitting in one corner, and when Holmes picks the piece up, he looks through a hole in the platform and has a direct line of sight to Moriarty's seat, where the Professor just smiles at him. Meanwhile, the actual bomb, planted at a diplomatic conference at a hotel, detonates.
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    • Moriarty gets another one at the climax. While Holmes is deducing how to best Moriarty in a fight, Moriarty smiles, thinks "Come now. You think you're the only one who can play this game?", comes up with his own deductions, and actually wins the (imaginary) fight.
    • "Conclusion? Inevitable. Unless..."
  • Moriarty taunts Holmes that all of his efforts have not really accomplished anything in the end. Holmes counters by revealing that he not only allowed Moriarty to torture him earlier in the film purposefully in order to get a chance to steal the pocket notebook in which his assets are documented, he also figured out how its contents were encoded and passed it all on to Lestrade, who is already in the process of confiscating much of Moriarty's wealth. Checkmate.
    • Equally brilliant is Holmes' flipbook. Especially since it's a direct nod to earlier in the film when Moriarty asked Holmes who was the fisherman and who was the fish...and the flipbook shows a fisherman getting eaten by his own catch: a shark. It ends with the shark quipping "Be careful what you fish for!"
    • The awesome and ironic point that Moriarty, whose plans were to profit from a war that HE would cause, lost his fortune to a charity benefiting wives and orphans of war victims.
  • The last scene...Holmes disguised as a chair in Watson's own house, sneaking a peak at the emotional tribute Watson is penning about him! You just know he's about to crash the second honeymoon trip.
    • Possibly even one-upping his own literary canon counterpart by sending Watson an anonymous package containing Mycroft's breathing device, just knowing that Watson will recognize it immediately. And as Watson runs off asking Mary if the postman looked unusual, Holmes suddenly pops up off the chair to add his singular punctuation mark to Watson's manuscript...
  • Watson. Cannon. That is all.
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    • "That's not fair."
    • Made even better when one remembers that Moran and Moriarty have been consistently one step ahead at every turn. This turns the tables squarely back in Watson and Holmes' favor, and Moran, sociopathic spoiled brat that he is, looks like he wants to throw a tantrum when he realizes his position.
  • Mary, of all people, pulling a gun on one of the assassins on the train.
    I think it's time for you to leave.
    • Another small one for Mary: close to the end of the film, she, along with Scotland Yard, use the information given to them by Holmes to gain more evidence behind Moriarty's plan. Mary helps by putting her governess education skills in practice to decode Moriarty's notebook.
    • This cannot possibly be emphasized enough: in the end, Moriarty's entire operation is dismantled by Inspector Lestrade and Mrs. Watson.
    • Cue the scene where boxes and boxes of money are stacked in the offices, and then Mary just smiles and says "That's the end of page two. Page three..."
  • As Holmes, Watson, and Sim are fleeing from Moriarty's weapons factory, they are pursued by Moran and several Mooks. At one point, Holmes dodges a near-point blank shot from one mook, grabs his rifle, and knocks him out while chambering a new round in said rifle and passing it to Watson, who then non-fatally snipes Moran. Made especially impressive by Holmes having a large wound in his shoulder, and having just been pulled from a collapsed building.
    • The entire factory and forest escape is one giant CMOA, filled with slow-motion destruction and as much gun porn as you'd ever want.
  • In keeping with his role as badass ex-military marksman and second-in-command to Moriarty, Sebastian Moran gets several. The most prominent is probably when, after chasing Holmes, Watson and Co. hell-for-leather through a forest (managing to take down multiple moving targets with his rifle without breaking stride) and being knocked to the ground by a bullet, he gets back up with a deadly gleam in his eye, steadies his hands, steadies his breathing, and picks off the unlucky fellow bringing up the rear with a single perfect shot, apparently purely in revenge for daring to shoot at him, since the escape was already assured at that point.
    • The simple fact that Moran is only in a position to do this because he survived Watson's attempt to kill him with a howitzer fired at his sniper nest from point-blank range thanks to some considerable hustle on his part.
  • Watson, at the summit, makes a Sherlock Scan to find the imposter and saves the day while Holmes is outside playing chess to keep Moriarty busy.
  • The End?

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