Will Robert Downey Jr. wear out his welcome? Hard to say, but he’s now got two franchises where he plays a smart jerk. Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows is Guy Richie‘s sequel to 2009′s surprisingly successful (it was overshadowed by Avatar, but made over $200 Million domestic) reworking of Arthur Conan Doyle’s most famous character. The newest entry co-stars Jude Law, Noomi Rapace, and Jared Harris. Check out the latest trailer…

The trailer suggests the return of Rachel McAdams, but as she is not top billed you can expect her either to leave the story for much of the film or to be killed off dramatically (though a vengeful Holmes sounds like less fun). I thought the first film was likeable, the sort of film that is rousing while you watch it and clever enough to make it not insulting – but not the sort of film that inspires great enthusiasm.

But the first film made over half a billion worldwide, so it’s probably worth going back for more. I like Downey Jr., and he’s done a better job than most comic book film stars in positioning himself as more than just the man behind the mask. Perhaps his success is similar to comedians like Will Ferrell, where as long as he does what people like him for they’ll turn out. Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows opens December 16.

Will you watch everything Downey Jr.?