Enola Holmes 2 (2022) Review!!

Synopsis – Now a detective-for-hire, Enola Holmes takes on her first official case to find a missing girl as the sparks of a dangerous conspiracy ignite a mystery that requires the help of friends – and Sherlock himself – to unravel.

My Take – Why fix something that isn’t exactly broken? A policy which most follow ups to successful films don’t follow, who with an aim to go bigger the next time around often end up getting rid of what made the original click in the first place.

Thankfully, this is not the case of returning director Harry Bradbeer‘s film, who instead, along with returning writer Jack Thorne, doubles down on what made the 2020 film such a breath of fresh air in the first place.

It doesn’t try to outdo the first film or be too different, but acts as a natural continuation of the story. All the while maintaining the levels of light, adventurous fun of the original, nevertheless, surpassing it due to the presence of a much more cohesive, intriguing central narrative, in addition to an overall better pacing.

It’s still quirky and cheeky but a tad darker than the first, certainly more complex with all the twists and turns they added this time around. The different story lines mesh together nicely, and the distinctive visual style continues to remain a standout. Without having to spend time on setup, the sequel, right from the first minute is free to let loose and have a rip-roaring good time. It also helps that Henry Cavill‘s Sherlock Holmes plays a far larger presence this time around.

Backed by impressive production values and a pair of stellar leading performances from Millie Bobby Brown and Henry Cavill, the sequel makes the case for Enola and Netflix to continue solving such mysteries for as many sequels as possible without diminishing results.

Taking place sometime after the events of the 2020 film, the story once again follows Enola (Millie Bobby Brown), who has started her own detective agency to distinguish herself from her far more famous older brother, Sherlock (Henry Cavill). Even distancing herself from any romantic entanglements with Lord Tewkesbury (Louis Partridge), to make her own name in the world. Unfortunately for her, business isn’t good.

Being both young and a girl has scared off all potential clients, most of whom who would much rather talk to Sherlock. But just as Enola is about to close her office doors for good, a case finally appears in the form of young girl who wants to find her older missing sister, Sarah Chapman (Hannah Dodd), who worked at the Lyons Match Factory.

However, when Enola begins digging, she finds herself becoming a suspect in a murder, forcing her to employ all of her skills, as well as those of Sherlock and her mother Eudoria (Helena Bonham-Carter), to unravel a major conspiracy.

Without wasting any time, the film jumps right into what it does best: namely chase sequences and breaking the fourth wall. Unlike the other Fleabag clones out there, the film’s timeliness is baked into the plot, which concerns a criminal conspiracy and a couple of whistleblowers out to expose it.

Clocking in at 129 minutes, the sequel never feels long, even with a surprisingly complex mystery and a variety of locations. From a web of robberies to an outbreak of typhus and a worker uprising, but it has a good momentum to it, constantly racing along from one revelation to the next. Of course, keeping track of the various plot threads and suspects can become occasionally overwhelming, nevertheless it never comes across as padded or overstuffed.

Yes, it includes a scene in which a bunch of liberated young women stage a mass walkout, but it also includes a late reveal that is as good an act of misdirection as you could hope for in what is essentially a family film.

With a historical and political backdrop to the film, namely the fictionalized retelling of the match-girls’ strike of 1888, the sequel also brings in the class system into focus, particularly for the titular lead, who finds herself stuck between worlds, too posh for the working-class kids she’s trying to help, far too unrefined for the elites she needs to investigate.

However, the biggest addition to the film is extended role of Cavill’s Sherlock, who gives the famous detective another dimension. In addition to being a brilliant, pompous genius, he’s also a brother trying to reconnect with his little sister. Sherlock and Enola have a delightful relationship, one where they’re trying to connect with each other and express, in their limited ways that they care for each other, while also trying to solve their cases, and jealously keep their progress and processes secret from each other.

The increased screen time for Sherlock does not mean that this film is any less worthy of the leader herself, but it does veer very close to potentially starting conversations on a spin-off for Cavill to headline himself.

Performance wise, Millie Bobby Brown continues to be as radiant as ever as the titular teenage detective. She seems be having a lot of fun playing this character and gives Enola a personality that makes her incredibly likable and someone to root for. Henry Cavill’s performance exudes a warmth that you wouldn’t normally associate with the famously clinical character. Cavill and Brown both have obvious screen presence and play off of each other very well.

In supporting roles, Helena Bonham Carter, Louis Partridge, Susan Wokoma and Adeel Akhtar make delightful return to their roles. In other roles, David Thewlis skillfully chomps the scenery, while Hannah Dodd, Abbie Hern, Gabriel Tierney, Serrana Su-Ling Bliss and Sharon Duncan-Brewster are excellent. On the whole, ‘Enola Holmes 2’ is a more intricate and enjoyable sequel that doubles down on the fun and charm of its predecessor.

Directed – 

Starring – Millie Bobby Brown, Henry Cavill, Helena Bonham Carter

Rated – PG13

Run Time – 129 minutes

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