Enola Holmes 2 Review: Better Than The First One!

by Hailey Greg
Enola Holmes 2 Review

Millie Bobby Brown reprises her role as a shrewd Victorian investigator in a sequel that exceeds the first. Enola Holmes 2 utilizes the mystery of a lost girl to create an exciting historical adventure. The exceptional cast expands on their existing ties with startling new elements to the intricate plot. As an independent young woman navigating a harsh culture, Enola confronts grave dangers. She discovers that wit and bravery are insufficient in the face of apparently insurmountable obstacles. Family, friends, and a swoon-worthy suitor prove to be invaluable allies.

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Following the events of the previous film, Enola Holmes (Brown) establishes her own detective business but has difficulty attracting customers, since most people prefer that her brother Sherlock (Cavill) handle their cases. Until a little girl requests assistance in locating her missing elder sister Sarah Chapman (Hannah Dodd).

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Enola pursues Sarah with vigor and quickly realizes that her investigation intersects with a case involving stolen government funds that are blocking her elder brother. Both Holmes’s siblings are hesitant to accept assistance, but as the case takes a fatal turn, they are forced to work together. Enola must learn to solicit assistance from all of her supporters, including Viscount Tewkesbury (Louis Partridge) and her still-errant mother Eudoria, in addition to Sherlock (Helena Bonham Carter). Meanwhile, Sherlock will have to seek out Edith, a colleague of Eudoria’s (Susan Wokoma). Together, and with assistance, Enola and Sherlock will be able to solve both cases.

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In the meanwhile, Sherlock is baffled by a very perplexing case. He has never seen a crime committed with such precision. Enola is still his ward, but she rejects his supervision. She will never earn popularity and respect as long as her brother is renowned. The game takes a sinister turn when Enola is accused of murder. Inspector Grail (David Thewlis) and his thugs of the police force are close on her tail. Mercifully, Enola has Sherlock, her mother (Helena Bonham Carter), Edith (Susan Wokoma), and Lord Tewkesbury (Louis Partridge) on her side.

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Let’s begin with the endearing and amusing. Enola Holmes 2 is an enjoyable film. Brown breaks the fourth wall to address and interact with the audience directly. Harry Bradbeer, the great director of Fleabag and the original film, has mastered this strategy. Along with a superb production design, Enola’s asides evoke an atmosphere of a fairy tale. Animated cut sequences based on the Nancy Springer books recapitulate crucial information. This is a wonderful story device that adds a basic aesthetic aspect to the production qualities of a blockbuster film.

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Cat-and-mouse games are not always entertaining. Enola is hardly an unbeatable protagonist. In the course of defending herself, she sustains injuries. Women in the film are targets, yet they are neither weak nor in despair. They struggle for survival and humiliate those who underestimate them. 

In comparison to the original, screenwriter Jack Thorne (His Dark Materials, The Secret Garden) escalates the stakes. He develops his characters but does not make them less vulnerable. Personal touches enhance the impact of a well-crafted tale. Enola’s sentiments towards Tewkesbury are exquisitely articulated. 

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Whereas the original Enola Holmes film was a little too disjointed, with too many separate plot strands to seem coherent, Enola Holmes 2’s screenplay by Jack Thorne is considerably more beautiful in how it pulls together all of the film’s elements. 

Thorne, who also wrote the screenplay for the previous film, retains everything that worked well in Enola Holmes, including the character’s cheerful tone and tendency to breach the fourth wall, while weaving a more intricate story. 

Sarah Chapman’s mystery is as intricate as a spectator may anticipate from the previous film, and it is big enough for Sherlock to play a role. 

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Thorne also incorporates actual historical events, roughly basing the character of Sarah on the same-named participant in the 1888 matchgirls’ strike. 

Enola Holmes 2 eliminated what did not work in the original picture and gave them more of what they enjoyed. The movie features a greater involvement of Cavill’s Sherlock in the mystery of Sarah Chapman and, therefore, in Enola’s life. 

Though Brown can easily carry the picture on her own, and she’s just as delightful as she was in the previous film, it’s a joy to see her and Cavill bring the sibling relationship between Enola and Sherlock to life. The writing by Thorne portrays them as two sides of the same coin, and the performers do an excellent job portraying the various, but similar features of their characters. 

Especially in a sequence when Enola helps Sherlock get home after a night out, their on-screen dynamism is absurdly hilarious. Cavill displays amusing comedic abilities in this scene, while Brown continues to exhibit her main actress abilities. 

The other returning performers, Partridge, Carter, and Wokoma, are pleasant in their roles but are slightly overshadowed by the newcomers, particularly David Thewlis as the scary police inspector Grail and Sharon Duncan-delectably Brewster’s complicated new character. Brown leads Enola Homes 2 successfully on her own, but the film shines most when she’s paired with an engaging co-star.

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Enola Holmes 2’s failure to reconcile its low-stakes tale with its aim to be a high-stakes mystery action thriller is maybe its lone flaw. Thorne’s screenplay and Harry Bradbeer’s direction, both returned from the previous film, transform the narrative of a missing girl and stolen government funds into a picture with a jail escape and many explosions. There is a certain level of action inherent in a plot in which a young woman’s knowledge of jujitsu is integral to her character, but Enola Holmes 2 sometimes goes a touch too far with it. 

There’s nothing wrong with a low-stakes mystery if it’s well-plotted enough to be fascinating, but at times it seems as if Thorne and Bradbeer are adding unnecessary flourishes because they lack confidence in the plot. Enola Holmes 2 is interesting because it is a homey murder mystery, not in spite of it.

Enola Holmes 2 is a sequel that will appeal to fans of the first film, while also providing an accessible entry point for others who may have missed Netflix’s 2020 feature. Those who appreciated Cavill’s portrayal of Sherlock in Enola Holmes will be pleased to see him play a larger role in the plot of the sequel, but this is still Brown’s franchise. 

She has become a powerhouse and continues to rely on her talent and charisma to make this film series captivating, and audiences will be captivated by the better-constructed mystery and charming relationship between the two Holmes siblings.

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