Enola Holmes 2  Netflix Review: As a sequel to one of the most-watched Netflix films in 2020, Millie Bobby Brown returns for her official first investigative case as Enola Holmes alongside his smart, dapper sibling – Sherlock Holmes, played by Henry Cavill.
Although the spirited feminist messaging and an adorable Millie Bobby Brown performance managed to rack up immense consumption for Enola Holmes, it did not do much for me. The premise was only a basic patchwork to introduce this new voice from Baker Street. The script committed to the central mystery on such a superficial level that the sappy Young-Adult elements came out more than they should have.
However, as it usually goes, the film did manage to find its desired audience. And the teen comedy returns with a second chapter, following Enola as she takes on her first professional case as a detective.
Just when she thinks there is little hope for her business, she is approached by a bit of matchgirl who wants her to find out about her missing sister Sarah Chapman, a girl with emerald green eyes and red hair. While unearthing the mystery, she stumbles upon Tewkesbury, now a radical Lord still struggling to become a man from the man-child that he was. The rest of the film follows her working hand-in-hand with her elder brother Sherlock, whose case is somehow connected with hers.
As a sequel, Enola Holmes 2 is ambitious. It undecks the cards of its central mystery right from the word go. Besides this essential prioritization, it makes for a better entertainer than the source. Jack Thorne’s script makes more than minimal deviations from Nancy Springer’s text, elevating it from its basic and dated nature in more than one way. The intertwining of the adventure with a specific historical event (the matchgirl’s strike of 1888) comes off as an intelligent choice.
What especially surprised me was the romantic coming-of-age journey that Enola goes through. Bradbeer doesn’t dodge the superficial and corny Young-Adult flavor altogether, but the exploration of Enola’s muted and innocent romantic escapade with Tewkesbury is more organic. The chemistry between Millie Bobby Brown and Louis Partridge is earnest and feels shared, which elevates the experience of watching them together.
However, the brilliant parts are still insufficient to cohere into a solid whole. The makers are desperately committed to putting forward a quirky teenager’s adventure rather than a thinking Victorian woman’s evolving conflict against the system. The film feels too long at two hours because the stretches between its great moments are laboriously written. Once again, Henry Cavill makes for a pretty mediocre Sherlock, his role in the mystery terribly constructed.
Apart from a poor Sherlock Holmes essayed by Cavill, the underused nature of Helena Bonham Carter remains a massive issue. Eudoria makes fun of passing appearances which are just not fleshed out well enough.
So, while Enola Holmes 2 maintains the mediocre Young-Adult element and surface-level feminist messaging of the original, a few refreshing writing choices make it an improvement.