Always surprising, substantively rich, and bolstered by a lively central performance that lifts some of the slower bits, Enola Holmes 2 is a rare supplement that doesn’t takeThe bigger is the better. Instead, it doubles down on what made the first movie breath fresh air in the pandemic era in the first place.
Netflix probably knew it was a hit when the first movie dropped, instantly putting the sequel on the fast track. Sure, we might still get more red notice and the Gray Man movies, but they feel like an inevitable illness that comes with age rather than the sexy Sunday plan one would look forward to during the week.
unlike Other Fleabag Clones There, Enola Holmes 2 gets its contemporary edge not from punk rock or random Gen Z dialogue. Instead, the timing of the film is put into the plot, which relates to a criminal plot and two whistleblowers to expose it. But the most impressive thing about this elegant sequel is the clarity of single-minded awareness. In this respect, he is very similar to a brave heroine.
Millie Bobby Brown is as radiant as ever as the titular teenage detective, who, after a series of career setbacks, finds herself embroiled in a murder mystery. To her dismay, she discovers that she, and not the mustache-spinning Earl, is the prime suspect. The plot thickens as the movie continues, of course, but it boils down to its core, it’s the story of a young girl, full of insecurities about being an expendable, who investigates the disappearance of another expendable little girl.
From its brisk opening moments that essentially serve as a much-needed ‘prev’ sequel, to its delightful third act, Enola Holmes 2 fiercely embraces its core themes as Eudoria Holmes is about to say goodbye to her only daughter. A less significant movie might have some characters announce their mission statement to the audience at regular intervals, because a lesser movie might make the grave mistake of thinking their audience isn’t smart enough to keep up. But Enola Holmes expresses themes of persecution, seeking independence from it, through character rather than conspiracy.
Yes, it includes a scene in which a group of young, liberated women perform a mass evacuation, but it also includes a late revelation that is as misguided as you could hope for in a movie that is essentially a children’s movie. I can’t spoil it here, but it does include the introduction of a famous character from the Sherlock Holmes lore, who may have come across as a vulgar pimping, but in the hands of writer Jack Thorne seems consistent with the low-key rage that runs through the film’s veins. However, keep peeling them for a mid-credits scene that really provides fan service, but again, in a way that enriches the characters.
Speaking of Sherlock Holmes, he’s still as much the supporting presence in this movie as he was in the last movie, even though his relationship with his younger sister and his single character has developed in meaningful ways. Henry Cavill’s performance exudes a warmth that you wouldn’t normally associate with the famous clinical character; This version of Holmes isn’t the type to be excited about the arrival of a new villain, but he treats his responsibility to bring them to justice almost like a burden. There is a stoic, lone-wolf quality in Cavill’s Holmes that the film acknowledges and attempts to remedy. Sarcasm is not something you can accuse of either of these two films.
The final third of Enola Holmes 2 is pure fun to watch, despite director Harry Bradbeer’s haphazard handling of the kinetic confrontation (when he briefly forgot that Sherlock is also there because he was planning to spotlight Enola instead). This is when the central mystery is solved with a satisfying session of a book finished in one sitting, and also when the movie happily reveals the main villain.
Both Cavill and Brown spent the majority of their careers swinging at franchises. It’s not perfect, but that’s the sad reality of stardom these days. Unless, of course, you’re Leonardo DiCaprio. However, it’s heartening to see that amid the massive dystopia of DCEU, MonsterVerse, The Witcher, and Stranger Things, there’s at least one series that doesn’t stink of what the Russo brothers think of as filmmaking. Let’s enjoy it as long as it lasts, because it’s not hard to deduce where it’s all headed.
Enola Holmes 2
Director – Harry Bradbeer
spit Millie Bobby Brown, Henry Cavill, Helen Bonham Carter, Louis Partridge, David Thewlis, Susie Wakuma, Adil Akhtar
evaluation – 4/5
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