From Christopher Lee to Basil Rathbone, Sherlock Holmes has always been synonymous with deductive reasoning and iconic deerstalkers. It’s up to Enola Holmes joined it too, spun from the mind of author Nancy Springer. What followed in quick succession was a modicum of precocious talent, a Netflix phenom and Millie Bobby Brown.
As this English actor slowly eclipsed his contemporaries in stranger things, the first media paid attention, then Hollywood. Other opportunities soon followed, not the least of which was the title role in Enola Holmes alongside Henry Cavill. Written by Jack Thorne (My dark matters) and starring Helena Bonham Carter, this adventurous adventure through Victorian London confirmed its star power and a sequel was inevitable.
Cut to 2022 and Enola Holmes 2, which sees this charismatic creation take center stage and open its own detective agency. Where social expectations, gender politics and a famous big brother nearly ended this new venture in minutes. That is until a little girl approaches Enola to find her missing sister and the game begins.
What made the first movie work boiled down to a number of unique factors. As an actress, Millie Bobby Brown is extremely versatile, innately gifted, and has a knack for breaking that all-important fourth wall. By surreptitiously inviting the audience into this world, she makes an instant connection without appearing to sweat. A subtle look here, an exasperated expression there, and in no time the whole audience is invested.
This time, David Thewlis (The sand man) leads the police force as Grail, a devious authority figure with nefarious intentions. Audible from afar, due to its distinctive walking stick, this Victorian blue helmet plays a shadowy role in proceedings from the start — making life difficult for the two members of the Holmes clan.
With a plot that cuts to a fair clip and Millie Bobby Brown in solid form, there’s simply nothing not to enjoy. Enola Holmes 2. As former brother Sherlock, Henry Cavill fulfills his tag team responsibilities, imbuing their relationship with a distinctive big brother vibe. Whether stepping out of a four-leaf public house to the wind or deducing crucial clues alongside Enola, this charismatic couple scores two bundles of fun.
However, there are a few gripes that come with a plot that moves at supersonic speed, centered almost solely on its spunky heroine. Minor players who may have gotten a bigger role last time around are having their contributions diminished for the sake of brevity. Victims include Louis Partridge as Lord Tewkesbury, who can serve as Enola’s love interest, but rarely manages to step outside of those boundaries.
Elsewhere, there’s the matter of Helena Bonham Carter as inventive anarchist Eudoria Holmes, who is only allowed fleeting moments of screen time. Whether intentional or due to scheduling conflicts, his involvement feels like an afterthought rather than a top-down creative choice. On the other hand, what Bonham Carter can do is expand on the motherly bond she established in the first film, as well as add strong performances elsewhere.
Beyond that, Enola Holmes 2 brings everything to the table that made it work last time. A refined production design by Michael Carlin (Mauritanian) brings vibrant Victorian London to life, while Emmy-winning director Harry Bradbeer (Flea bag) offers some assurance behind the camera. Combine that with Jack Thorne back on adaptation duties, fashioning an undemanding yet engaging tale from Nancy Springer’s source material and audiences are a definite winner.
With Millie Bobby Brown’s star power confirmed and a third entry in this female-led franchise a certainty, Enola Holmes becomes a force to be reckoned with. It delivers a new kind of hero to the streaming generation, role models who excel at being resourceful against the odds, making this sequel more than just brave heroines, nefarious authority figures, and literary icons.
Beneath the polished, poised, groundbreaking punchlines, there’s something reassuring about what this Victorian tale has to say about storytelling. Whether the filmmakers tackle the trials and tribulations of 221b Baker Street, or tackle something closer to reality with a dramatic look at the broken friendships in The Banshees of Inisherincinema still has a lot to say.