Millie Bobby Brown Returns for Charming Sequel

Dec 12, 2022

‘Tis her! After charming audiences with her awkward, comedic hijinx, Millie Bobby Brown’s teenage detective is back to getting into trouble, fighting to prove herself, and giving voice to the voiceless in the utterly delightful, comedic, and surprisingly moving Enola Holmes 2. Directed by Harry Bradbeer with a screenplay by Jack Thorne, both of whom also brought us the first film, Enola Holmes 2 wastes no time throwing the audience — and the titular detective — headfirst into a densely-packed, multilayered mystery that calls for the skills of more than one Holmes sibling.

Following her successful rescue of Viscount Tewksbury (Louis Partridge), Enola Holmes opens her own detective agency in London, but is having a hard time getting it off the ground. Her age, gender, and relative inexperience are all factors, of course, but there is also the fact that she simply isn’t her famous older brother Sherlock (Henry Cavill), the go-to Holmes sibling when it comes to mysteries that need solving. Just as she is preparing to pack up shop and head back to the Holmes’ country estate, she is approached by young match girl Bessie (Serrana Su-Ling Bliss) looking for help in finding her missing sister.
What starts out as a simple enough missing person case to be solved with the power of that famous familiar deductive reasoning — and a fair number of lessons Enola received from her mother Eudoria (Helena Bonham Carter) — quickly turns far more complicated, embroiling Enola, along with Tewksbury and Sherlock into a much bigger conspiracy, one that overlaps with the same case that has had Sherlock stumped for weeks.

While sequels can sometimes fall for the trap of relying too heavily on the bits of the first film that proved most popular, hammering them in over and over until no one is laughing anymore, Enola Holmes 2 wisely avoids this trap. Instead, the story builds successfully on the first, emphasizing what made it work so well, but also allowing these things to grow beyond their origins. One striking example is the lesson Sherlock gives his sister in Enola Holmes when she is sent to finishing school. Though she might hate her surroundings, no lesson learned is a lesson wasted. Gone is the Enola who assumes she already knows everything, and in her place is an Enola willing to use any and every tool in her arsenal to get to the bottom of the case — whether that means swinging off a rooftop, or mastering the art of wordless flirtation.

Image via Netflix

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Speaking of, Enola and Tewksbury’s flirtation from the first film is revisited here with a kind of honesty I hope is becoming more and more common. There is no coyness from the script, or suggestion that the character’s chemistry is something other than romantic — even if it can be awkward at times. They are teenagers after all.

As a leading lady, Brown continues to showcase both her pluck and her comedic chops. Her struggle to grow and flourish outside not only her brother’s shadow, but outside the boxes she’s been placed in by society and by her own family feels more relatable this time around. It has become less about the predictable shots at corsets, needlework, or other “feminine” things, and more about a young woman striving for self-determination in a world determined to deprive her of that. Despite the large ensemble cast surrounding her, make no mistake that Brown carries this film on her own, and is a remarkably compelling lead.

Even though Sherlock Holmes is a character we have seen in many incarnations, Cavill still manages to infuse him with something entirely his own. Yes, he is still clinically detached and obviously believes himself to be the most intelligent person in any room he enters, but underneath that all is a genuine current of affection for his younger sister. Not to mention, his version of Sherlock is actually funny. It’s easy to forget in all the tough-guy action roles that Cavill actually has great comedic timing, and the scenes where he and Brown get to play off each other are some of the most enjoyable.

Image via Netflix

The supporting cast as a whole, including David Thewlis, Sharon Duncan-Brewster, Hannah Dodd, and Adeel Akhtar do a wonderful job. The story also wisely brings back Susan Wokoma’s Edith and this time around gives her something to do beyond providing exposition to the Holmes siblings. Edith and Sherlock’s banter was, as in the first film, a delight, and if I have one complaint it’s that there simply wasn’t enough of it.

As for the mystery at the heart of the story, the film is so packed with twists and turns and revelations that it will leave you on the edge of your seat. No setpiece is lingered on too long, no action scene is so prolonged that the audience’s eyes glaze over. At just over two hours long, Enola Holmes 2 is tightly paced, leaving just enough breathing room for the characters to thrive and do what they do best. It is a film with a lot of moving parts, but not so many that the audience will lose track, and in that way, is a film deserving of a rewatch — or several.

Rating: A

Enola Holmes 2 comes to Netflix on November 4.

Disclaimer: This story is auto-aggregated by a computer program and has not been created or edited by filmibee.
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