Published On: Thu, Oct 27th, 2022

Enola Holmes 2 review: Millie Bobby Brown’s scenes are stolen in lacklustre sequel | Films | Entertainment


I was as surprised as anyone when it was announced that a sequel to Enola Holmes had been green-lit by Netflix in 2020. I suppose it shouldn’t have been a surprise – Millie Bobby Brown‘s Stranger Things fame continues to grow, Sherlock Holmes has always been a best-seller, and Netflix has had growing success with certain young-adult properties. So then, it feels horribly disingenuous for Enola Holmes 2 to move away from the first movie’s charms so brutally. 

After setting up her own detective agency in Victorian London, Enola is hired by a young girl whose sister is missing, presumed dead.

The young detective embarks on an epic quest of macabre mystery and murder to figure out what exactly is going on in the upper echelons of society.

The overall plot of Enola Holmes 2 is endearing, and fast-paced – but lacks the thrills and genuine mystery that spurred on its predecessor.

Through it all, Brown returns as her quippy and elaborate young detective. Her script is no better than the first, but her performance seems to have blossomed into itself nicely, building up to a Robert Downey Jr-esque caricature of the heroine.

Unfortunately, the film’s nuances let Brown down drastically.

Enola seems to have far fewer one-liners or actual comedic moments in the film, leaving cold, dead air in their place. The film also insists on developing a love interest for the young detective – despite the fact viewers are constantly told how content she has been working and living alone (it’s literally her name backwards, guys). 

Even worse: at every turn, Enola Holmes is proven wrong or second-guessed by every character around her. From messing up her clues or taking too long to figure out a specific connection between suspects, Enola is depicted as an inept detective. Perhaps this trait is supposed to be loveable and engaging – and I’m simply not getting it – but ultimately, it’s frustrating to watch.

This discrepancy is made worse by the fact that Sherlock Holmes is… well… Sherlock Holmes.

Throughout every moment the legendary detective appears on screen he shines through as the most interesting character in the story. From bare-knuckle brawling and outsmarting the police to out-riddling his foes while nursing a hangover; Sherlock is the be-all-end-all of detectives.

In the first Enola Holmes movie, he was just a footnote to the narrative. An added extra for fans to enjoy. But in Enola Holmes 2 he has almost as much screen time as the protagonist herself. As a result, it quickly becomes downright annoying to see Enola fail when you know for certain Sherlock is about to make an appearance and fix all the problems any second (and he does, undoubtedly, every single time). Why isn’t this just a Sherlock Holmes movie? It would easily be far more appealing.

Sherlock’s overshadowing of Enola is made even worse by the fact he is played by the absolutely astounding Henry Cavill. 

The Superman actor really flexes his muscles in Enola Holmes 2, and as a result, out-acts everyone on screen. Even such Hollywood stalwarts as David Thewlis (who plays no more than a moustache-twirling excuse for a villain) feels entirely flat. 

I’m hoping against hope that Netflix ushers in a spin-on with Sherlock at the forefront, or removes him entirely because he’s just too good – especially when directly compared to Enola.

Cavill’s excellence aside, Enola Holmes 2 does churn out a competent movie that will entertain fans of the first flick, and the gorgeous set designs and costumes are enough to really drag viewers into the world seamlessly. Hopefully, these details carry over to a solo movie with Sherlock at the forefront (or just better writing for Enola).

Enola Holmes 2 hits cinemas today, and Netflix on November 4.



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