Millie Bobby Brown as Enola Holmes.2022
Photo: Alex Bailey/Netflix
Enola Holmes 2
WHERE TO WATCH:
WHAT IT’S ABOUT:
Enola takes on her first official case as a detective, but to solve the mystery of a missing girl, she’ll need help from friends – and brother Sherlock.
WHAT WE THOUGHT:
Two years after our first adventure with Enola Holmes, Sherlock’s sister is back to leave more chaos in her wake as she tries to establish herself as a detective far away from her famous brother’s shadow. Compared to the first one, which followed one of the books the series is based on, this one veers away from the books and into actual feminist history, focusing on Enola’s mother’s women’s rights movement. Helmed by the stellar Millie Bobby Brown alongside the return of the dashing Henry Cavill, this sequel is slightly more mature than its predecessor while retaining that youthful spark of young adult fiction.
After she cracks the case of a runaway lord hunted by his traditionalist grandmother, Enola struggles to get her detective agency up and running. As she’s about to call it quits, a young girl named Bessie hires her to find her missing older sister. This case leads Enola to a far bigger conspiracy, one that had a real-life impact on the fight for both women’s rights and workers’ rights in England.
Kid-friendly and fun, Enola Holmes 2 is a little more suited to a younger audience than an adult one, although I’m sure many would tune in just to get a glimpse of Cavill’s Sherlock, who has a bigger role in this one than before. Its story beats can be a little stagnant in places, but lessons were learned from the first film and changes were implemented for better character development and a more well-rounded cast outside of Brown’s Enola. In the first film, she has to learn to fend for herself and fight for her independence, but here she learns the value of working with others and leaning on her allies when the going gets tough – and oh boy, does it get tough. There are a bit more dead bodies in this one, and Enola is faced with much harsher truths about women’s standing in 19th-century English society. Still, children 12 and up can handle these mature themes and learn a bit more about the history of the Matchstick Girls and their push for safe work conditions.
Brown has also eased into the role more, but not in the way you might think. In Stranger Things, her role is quite serious and dramatic, but in Enola Holmes 2, she can cut loose and have more fun with her character. In the first one, she was still quite serious about it all, especially too serious for a teenager, and the more quirky elements were somewhat forced. In Enola Holmes 2, she’s far more comfortable in being silly and an actual teenager, and there’s a tender fondness for her character that is contagious. She and Cavill also had a bit more free-flowing banter between them, and I’m starting to like this PG-rated Sherlock version surprisingly more and more. We might not get too much more of him at Netflix based on the devastating Witcher news, but we’ll just have to enjoy him for as long as we still have him.
Unfortunately, I did not quite love the film, but I think that’s more down to my age rather than anything horribly wrong with it. The story beats were a bit erratic at times, and detours around Enola’s continuing love interest in the now-turned-politician Lord Tewkesbury could be cumbersome as well. As the intimidating Superintendent Grail, David Thewlis was fun at first, but Thewlis went a bit too dark for the story, on the edge of a different kind of film with a higher age rating. As for our main villain, I am in two minds over whether I liked the twist or not, and it’s quite clear early on who it is, but I think the villain needed more space to be villainous and dreadful for them to have a bigger impact.
Enola Holmes 2 is quite a few notches above its predecessor in story development and maturity but still a perfect fit for a young audience. At 13, I would have really wanted to be Enola Holmes, showcasing a lot of role model material, especially for young girls. As for adults, you might enjoy the Cavill-Sherlock and Helena Bonham Carter side of things more but still have fun with Brown’s adventurous spirit. This franchise has great potential for Netflix as a juggernaut, and hopefully, they can build further and stronger on this solid foundation.
WATCH THE TRAILER HERE:
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