Enola Holmes 2 Review: Cavill’s Stolen Millie Bobby Brown Scenes
I was as surprised as anyone when it was announced that Netflix had greenlit an Enola Holmes sequel in 2020. I guess it shouldn’t have been a surprise: Millie Bobby Brown’s Stranger Things fame continues to grow, Sherlock Holmes has always been a bestseller, and Netflix has seen growing success with certain young adult properties. So it feels horribly fake that Enola Holmes 2 departs so brutally from the charms of the first film.
After setting up her own detective agency in Victorian London, Enola is hired by a young woman whose sister is missing and presumed dead.
The young detective embarks on an epic quest for macabre murder mysteries to discover what exactly is going on in the upper echelons of society.
The overall plot of Enola Holmes 2 is endearing and fast-paced, but it lacks the genuine thrill and mystery that drove its predecessor.
Regardless, Brown returns as his wisecracking, elaborate young detective. His script is no better than the first one, but his acting seems to have blossomed nicely, becoming a Robert Downey Jr.-style caricature of the heroine.
Unfortunately, the film’s nuances disappointed Brown drastically.
Enola seems to have far fewer one-liners or actual comedic moments in the film, leaving cold, dead air in her place. The movie also makes a point of developing a love interest for the young detective, despite viewers being constantly told how glad she’s been working and living on her own (it’s literally her name backwards from her, guys).
Worse yet: throughout, Enola Holmes is either proven wrong or questioned by all the characters around her. From spoiling her clues to taking too long to figure out a specific connection between the suspects, Enola is portrayed as an inept detective. Maybe this trait is supposed to be lovable and attractive, and I just don’t get it, but ultimately, she’s just 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 as the most interesting character in history. From bare-knuckle fighting and outwitting the police to outmaneuvering his enemies while he’s hungover; Sherlock is the beginning of all detectives.
In the first Enola Holmes movie, he was just a footnote to the narrative. An added bonus for fans to enjoy. But in Enola Holmes 2 she gets almost as much screen time as the protagonist herself. As a result, it quickly becomes downright annoying to watch Enola fail when you know for a fact that Sherlock is about to show up and fix all the problems at any second (and he does, no doubt, every time). Why isn’t it just a Sherlock Holmes movie? It would easily be much more attractive.
Sherlock’s upstaging of Enola is made even worse by the fact that he’s played by the absolutely amazing Henry Cavill.
The Superman actor really flexes his muscles in Enola Holmes 2, and outdoes everyone on screen as a result. Even Hollywood stalwarts like David Thewlis (who does nothing more than a mustache-twisting villain excuse) feel completely flat.
I hope against hope that Netflix ushers in a Sherlock-starring spin-on, or cuts it out altogether because it’s too good, especially when directly compared to Enola.
Cavill’s excellence aside, Enola Holmes 2 produces a competent film that will entertain fans of the first film, and the beautiful set and costume designs are enough to really draw viewers into the world without a hitch. Hopefully these details will carry over into a solo movie with Sherlock fronting (or just writing better for Enola).
Enola Holmes 2 hits theaters today and on Netflix on November 4.
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