‘Enola Holmes 2’ – Review

Following the success of 2020’s Enola Holmes, Netflix has returned with another adventure from the young detective. 

Set shortly after the events of the first film, Enola Holmes 2 follows its titular character (Millie Bobby Brown), a young detective and little sister of the infamous Sherlock Holmes (Henry Cavill) as she navigates her first professional sleuthing gig. When Enola is approached by a young girl who comes to report the mysterious disappearance of her older sister, Enola is eager to take the case as an inaugural mystery for her newly minted solo detective business. With the help of her brother Sherlock, her friend (and budding paramour) Tewkesbury (Louis Partridge), and her mother (Helena Bonham Carter), Enola cracks the case, but not without first engaging in a trademark line of antics. 

The obvious stand out of the film is Millie Bobby Brown, who carries the film with a sense of youthful charm and naïveté. While that charm does not quite work as well in this iteration as it did its predecessor (that’s more at the fault of the screenplay than it is her performance), Brown brings a sense of lighthearted spirit that can only be described as magnetic. She appears to be having a great deal of fun on screen, and that translates well in her performance, a refreshing contrast to the stoic nature we’re used to seeing in Stranger Things. Her chemistry with her co-stars, particularly with Partridge, is also palpable. 

Cavill gives a charming performance as Sherlock, and his return is a welcome one from the first movie. While there have been more takes on the classic Sherlock Holmes character than one could likely count, Cavill manages to bring a fresh take to the character, whilst still keeping Holmes’ trademark mysticism and dark demeanor. Bonham Carter is also a joy to watch in any film, although her presence is arguably a bit underused in this film, as it was in the first. 

The production and costume design of this film are gorgeous. Set in nineteenth century London, Consolata Boyle’s costumes give off the air of age appropriate Victorian steampunk, while still showcasing more grand costumes like ballgowns, that are all frankly worthy of Oscar attention. 

While the film is a delightful watch, and a commendable sequel, it does not quite hold on to to the charm of the first film. This may be in part to its longer run time, which includes a slower second act. 129 minutes for a family film feels a bit redundant, and this film could easily be a tight 90 minutes. Given such a long run time, Cavill and Bonham Carter could have been utilized a bit more, as Brown plays well off of them. This could also be due to the fact that unlike its predecessor, Enola Holmes’s adventure is not adapted from Nancy Springer’s Enola Holmes Mysteries, giving the screenplay a less clear path to follow. 

However, the script doesn’t suffer too much for its runtime or lack of source material, and, despite being a family film, it’s an enjoyable watch for anyone of any age. 

Grade: B

Oscars Potential
Likely: None
Should Be Considered: Best Costume Design, Best Production Design

Where To Watch: Netflix

Lex Williams
she/her @alexiswilli_
Lives in NC, where she is on a first name basis with the owners of her favorite pho spot.
Favorite Actress: Angela Bassett
Sign: Capricorn

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