I found this sequel more tolerable than Sherlock Holmes (2009), though I’m not sure whether it’s actually better or I’ve just accepted the putrid idea of turning Arthur Conan Doyle’s brainy detective into just another quipping action hero. The early scenes offer some agreeably grimy Victorian settings and reasonably funny riffs on Holmes’s many character quirks, and as Holmes and Watson, Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law are more clever and charismatic than most action-movie buddies. These virtues are soon overwhelmed by the frantic action scenes and broad gags (Holmes in drag, etc), though even at its worst the movie is redeemed by the presence of two fine British character actors playing Conan Doyle regulars: Stephen Fry as Holmes’s waggish older brother, Mycroft, and Jared Harris (Mad Men) as the fiendish Dr. Moriarty. Guy Ritchie directed.