The funny thing about Enola Holmes is that the first movie wasn’t bad, and the easiest way you can tell that is how the internet outrage about the movie pretty much died the moment it came out. Henry Cavill played Sherlock Holmes and Mycroft is an asshole. It was an endearing and enjoyable movie, and now two years later the question is; can they do it again?
Sure. Why not?
Enola Holmes 2 kicks off after the events of the original. It’s been a while since Enola took down her big baddy, became the big dick of London, and got into the spotlight as the new detective on the streets. And boy howdy does business suck. Mostly because Enola Holmes is a woman and people don’t want her to lead their detective cases. Something about the sexism of the pre-suffrage English people, and it doesn’t really help that Enola’s worst nightmare has come true and she is living in the shadow of her big brother Sherlock. But luck turns around one day when a young girl comes in with a case; find her lost sister.
Directed once again by Harry Bradbeer and written by Jack Thorne, Enola Holmes 2 takes the energy of the original story and continues it with a mostly consistent sequel. The energetic and cute as a button Millie Bobby Brown is back as Enola Holmes as is Hunk Quarterly’s top cover model Henry Cavill as Sherlock before he goes to rescue the DCEU. Helena Carter returns as Eudoria Holmes, the mother of the Holmes family, and of course Adeel Akhtar is here as Detective Lestrade. Thankfully Sam Claflin does not return as Mycroft. Susie Wokoma is back as well as the womens MMA fighting instructor.
Enola Holmes 2 is exactly what you want out of a sequel; It takes the familiar characters and tone, brings them into a new story with new twists that doesn’t feel like a retread of the original, and introduces a new cast of memorable and threatening characters. If you liked the original you’re sure to enjoy this as well. If you didn’t like Enola Holmes because of the women empowerment stuff, you’re going to be extra angry about the changes they make for the sequel. Like [redacted] being played by a black person. Granted if you were upset about Enola Holmes and its writing you’re probably not coming back for this one.
Thankfully Jack Thorne writes Enola Holmes as a believable and intelligent character. It doesn’t fall into the same idiotic trappings that have befallen recent films that I’ll refer to as social justice exploitation. Films where female characters are all perfect, intelligent, beloved, and more virtuous than all the men who are purposely dumbed down so the women can shine, often with no real challenges. Enola Holmes has challenges, she has adversaries, and she overcomes obstacles both by herself and with the help of others and with real struggles. We never see a scrawny little girl beat up a grown dude in hand to hand combat or make unrealistic conclusions based on the evidence given or pull talents out of her ass.
Sherlock is never made out to be dumber or an asshole for the sake of Enola having a moment where he realizes that a woman can in fact be as smart as a man. There’s a mutual respect between the two although Enola rarely wants to accept help from outside parties. Lestrade actually feels dumber in this movie than he did in the original, and I have a sneaking suspicion he’s going to devolve into a one-dimensional nitwit as the series progresses if there is indeed an Enola Holmes 3. Lestrade is kind of an oddity in Sherlock Holmes adaptations because he tends to wander between insightful and comically inept.
Enola Holmes 2 feels shockingly short for a film that runs two hours and ten minutes. The best thing I can say is that it’s a film that’s just around to be fun and give you something to enjoy for a couple of hours. Also it’s on Netflix so go wild.