Consistently surprising, thematically rich, and aided by an energetic central performance that elevates some of the slower parts, Enola Holmes 2 is the rare sequel that doesn’tbigger-is-better route. Instead, it doubles what made the first movie such a breath of fresh air from the pandemic era in the first place.
Netflix probably knew it had a hit on its hands when the first movie came out, putting the sequel quickly on track. Sure, we’ll probably still get more Red notification and Gray Man movies, but they feel more like an inevitable illness that comes with old age than an exciting Sunday plan you look forward to all week.
Unlike the other Fleabag clones beyond that, Enola Holmes 2 doesn’t get its contemporary edge from a punk rock soundtrack or random Gen Z dialogue. Instead, the actuality of the film is ingrained in the plot, which involves a criminal conspiracy and a few whistleblowers bent on exposing it. But what’s most impressive about this handy sequel is its determined clarity of consciousness. In that respect, it is very similar to its brave heroine.
Millie Bobby Brown is as radiant as ever as the titular teenage detective, who finds himself embroiled in a murder mystery after a series of professional misadventures. To her chagrin, she discovers that she, and not some mustache-twirling Earl, is the prime suspect. The plot, of course, thickens as the film progresses, but it comes down to the gist: this is the story of a young girl, full of uncertainty about being expendable, who investigates the disappearance of another expendable young girl.
From the breakneck opening moments that basically act as a much-needed ‘before’ recap, to the joyous third act, Enola Holmes 2 embraces the core themes with the ferocity of Eudoria Holmes who is about to say goodbye to her only daughter. A lesser film would have had a character announce his mission statement to the audience at regular intervals, because a lesser film would make the grave mistake of believing that its audience is not intelligent enough to keep up. But Enola Holmes expresses his themes of oppression and seeks independence from them, through character and not through conspiracy.
Yes, it features a scene where a bunch of liberated young women stage a massive strike, but it also includes a belated reveal that’s as good a deception as you could hope for in what is essentially a children’s movie. I can’t spoil it here, but it’s about introducing a popular character from Sherlock Holmes lore, which may have come across as trite indulgent, but in the hands of writer Jack Thorne, feels consistent with the restrained rage running through the veins. of the film flows. That said, keep them open for a mid-credits scene that actually provides fan service, but again, in a way that enriches the characters.
Speaking of Sherlock Holmes, he’s still the supporting presence in this movie that he was in the last movie, though both his relationship with his younger sister and his individual personality have developed in meaningful ways. Henry Cavill’s performance exudes a warmth you wouldn’t normally associate with its famous clinical character; this version of Holmes isn’t the kind to get excited about the arrival of a new villain, but treats his responsibility to bring them to justice almost like a burden. Cavill’s Holmes has a stoic, lonely character that the film recognizes and tries to heal. Cynicism isn’t something you could accuse both films of.
The final third of Enola Holmes 2 is a joy to watch, despite director Harry Bradbeer’s haphazard way of handling the action showdown (when he forgets for a moment that Sherlock is there because he planned to put Enola in the spotlight instead). to put). This is when the central mystery is solved with the satisfying thud of a book finished in one go, as well as when the movie gleefully unmasks the main villain.
Both Cavill and Brown have spent most of their careers in franchises. This isn’t ideal, but that’s the sad reality of stardom these days. Unless, of course, you’re Leonardo DiCaprio. It’s heartwarming, though, to see that amid the massive dystopia of the DCEU and the MonsterVerse, The Witcher and Stranger Things, there’s at least one series that doesn’t stink of whatever the Russo brothers believe filmmaking is. Let’s enjoy it while it lasts because it’s not hard to deduce where it’s all going.
Enola Holmes 2
Director – Harry Bradbeer
Form – Millie Bobby Brown, Henry Cavill, Helene Bonham Carter, Louis Partridge, David Thewlis, Susie Wokoma, Adeel Akhtar
Rating – 4/5