Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law will be back for another Victorian romp in this winter’s Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows, the sequel to Guy Ritchie’s “updated” take on Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s most famous creations: the brilliant-but-incorrigible detective Holmes (Downey Jr.) and his ever-loyal comrade, Dr. Watson (Law).

An official teaser trailer has been unveiled for the followup to Sherlock Holmes, which hit it big at the box office and, in general, entertained moviegoers of all shades back in 2009. Thus we have the inevitable question: Can Ritchie and Co. catch lightning in a bottle a second time?

A Game of Shadows certainly has the potential to be an improvement on its predecessor, seeing as that it pits Holmes against his most infamous opponent: the malevolent Professor Moriarty (Jared Harris). Heck, the first Sherlock Holmes was partly just an extended prologue for their inevitable confrontation!

Harris certainly looks the part of a diabolical madman, as does Girl With the Dragon Tattoo actress Noomi Rapace as the film’s new female lead, the gypsy Sim. Between them, Downey Jr. reprising his charismatic turn as the brilliant crime solver in tweed, and Law returning as the prim physician who’s willing to kick ass when necessary, A Game of Shadows has a great main cast. But does everything else appear up to snuff?

Find out by watching the Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows teaser trailer (via iTunes Movie Trailers) below:

Going off this footage, the Sherlock Holmes sequel combines the same elements (sinister mystery plot, hyper-kinetic set pieces, and clever repartee between Holmes and Watson) from the first film, in the hopes of delivering another fun and fast-paced thrill ride. So not only will A Game of Shadows seemingly up the ante, with respect to everything its predecessor had to offer, this time all the action will unfold on a bigger stage. Quite literally, in fact, seeing as that (according to the official synopsis) Holmes and Co. eventually track Moriarty “from England to France to Germany and finally to Switzerland.”

Bigger and louder is almost always the route follow-ups to tentpole pics go, with the Pirates of the Caribbean movies being an obvious example. However, as is especially true for the second and third entries in the Pirates franchise, those sequels sometimes end up either rehashing or literally recycling jokes and action spectacles from the original.

Besides the “Get that out of my face!” exchange, though, there’s thankfully not much winking or nodding back to the first Sherlock Holmes in this Game of Shadows trailer. The sequel looks to deliver goofy, but (for most people) still entertaining, slowmo action, shootouts, and over-the-top stunts similar to those in the original. Plus, Harris and Rapace (and the sadly-yet-to-be-revealed Stephen Fry as the brilliant-but-lazy Mycroft Holmes) look to be fun additions to the party as well.

One thing that should be clear by now, though (if it wasn’t obvious before): If you considered the mashup of period adventure elements with mindless action and stuff going boom in Ritchie’s first Sherlock Holmes to be dumb at best, literary blasphemy at worst… well, A Game of Shadows isn’t going to be your thing either. Everyone else can start looking forward to watching Downey Jr. as Holmes, running around in drag or trading barbs with just about everyone that crosses his path.

Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows is scheduled to reach U.S. theaters on December 16th, 2011.

Source: iTunes Movie Trailers