Enola Holmes drops back in with a bang, to solve yet another mystery, in a sequel that’s as energised as its predecessor. What helps it soar beyond the first, however, is an added layer of warmth and spirit.
WRITTEN BY ALEX GILSTON / NOVEMBER 8, 2022
Enola Holmes 2 marks the return of Millie Bobby Brown in the titular role after the success of the original back in 2020. Still based on the novels by Nancy Springer, Sherlock Holmes’ sister Enola takes on her first case as an official detective. Despite struggling to break through the shadow of her brother Sherlock, a young girl named Bessie hires Enola to investigate her sister's disappearance. As Enola pulls at threads she figures out it could be connected to a case Sherlock is struggling to solve and beyond even that a higher conspiracy altogether. The twists and turns are surprising and some of the bigger reveals will make fans of the Holmes dynasty very happy. You wind through all of these revelations right beside Enola, and that’s its biggest strength. She is the beating heart of the film and the fourth wall breaking, which is a continuation from the first Enola Holmes, only connects us to her more.
There's an added layer of warmth in Enola Holmes 2 as the story is also loosely inspired by real-life events. It depicts the Matchgirls strike of 1888 which was the first strike by workers to gain notoriety. Over the two films, Enola Holmes has always lent on the idea that women really do it better and the integration of this story just solidifies the franchise’s celebration of women. The socialist kick is not an unwelcome one either as it joins some other films from earlier this year like The Duke and Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris that really portray the power people have when they band together.
Millie Bobby Brown is on fire as Enola, showing off how she is even more comfortable playing the most likeable of characters. It's difficult not to compare her performance to the electricity of one of director Harry Bradbeer’s previous projects Fleabag. The fourth wall breaking never feels out of place because Millie is completely committed to it. Henry Cavill returns as Sherlock Holmes and is starting to edge away from Robert Downey Jr. as one of the best on-screen Sherlocks. David Thewlis, as Detective Grail. is as menacing as the metal cane that beckons his arrival on the screen each time he shows up.
Harry Bradbeer is solidifying himself as a snappy director with a keen eye for some satisfying action sequences. The climactic face-off between Enola and Grail is riveting and ends with a wince-inducing moment.
Enola Holmes 2 follows suit with its spiritual sibling, the Robert Downey Jr Sherlock Holmes films, in that it easily exceeds the first by capitalising on all of the things that made it so good and climbing to new heights with them. With all the components laid out towards the end, it wouldn’t be surprising if in two years time we’re looking at an Enola Holmes trilogy.