REVIEW: “Enola Holmes 2” (2022)

One of the biggest surprises (and quite frankly one of the biggest treats) of 2020 was the jaunty mystery film “Enola Holmes”. Based on the young adult series of detective novels (that I know practically nothing about), the feature film adaptation sported good direction from Harry Bradbeer, a great script by Jack Thorne, and a terrific supporting cast that included Henry Cavill, Sam Claflin, and Helena Bonham Carter. But it was the magnetic charisma of its star, Millie Bobby Brown that made the film such a delight.

Following the success of its predecessor, Netflix was quick to green-light “Enola Holmes 2”. Brown reprises her titular role, brandishing the same personality and charm. Bradbeer returns to the directing chair with Thorne again handling the screenwriting. Also returning is Cavill as Enola’s brother, the renowned detective Sherlock Holmes, and Carter as her loving renegade mother, Eudoria who’s still on the run (see the previous film) and who has quite the affection for explosives. Several other familiar faces return along the way (but where’s Sam Claflin???).

Image Courtesy of Netflix

Following the success of her unofficial first case in the first film, Enola is all set to become a full-time detective. She opens up Enola Holmes Detective Agency, but quickly finds that securing clients isn’t easy for a young lady in her late teens, especially in the patriarchal Victorian England of the 1880s. She also finds herself still living in the shadow of her famous older brother Sherlock. After a long stretch of no cases and no income, Enola is set to call it quits and move back to Ferndell Hall.

But while boxing up her things Enola is surprised by a visitor – a young girl named Bessie (Serrana Su-Ling Bliss) seeking help in finding her missing sister, Sarah (Hannah Dodd). After doing a little investigating, Enola decides to take the case which (to no surprise) turns out to be more than a missing woman. Soon Enola finds herself in a web of greed, corporate corruption, extortion, oppression, and women’s suffrage. And as her case intensifies, she discovers that she doesn’t have to go at it alone. Sometimes everyone can use a little help.

While the first film was all about finding herself, “Enola Holmes 2” is a straight detective story, with Enola following in the footsteps of her famous older brother yet carving her own path and honing her young super-sleuthing skills. She’s still smart, perceptive, and fiercely independent. And she still routinely breaks the fourth wall to offer us some hilarious commentary or sometimes just to get things off her chest. This is where Brown’s performance really shines. Her ability to shuffle between comedy and drama is impressive. And she’s able to retain Enola’s playfulness from the first film while also showing some meaningful growth. Brown fully embodies her character.

While Brown is unquestionably the star, she’s surrounded by an array of wonderful supporting players. Cavill works at just the right temperature and fills his character’s sizable shoes well. He and Brown have a sweet chemistry and share some great scenes together, especially in Sherlock’s Baker Street flat. Louis Partridge remains a nice fit as the geeky yet noble Lord Viscount Tewkesbury. “He’s still a nincompoop,” Enola tells us as she tries to hide her fondness for him. Carter doesn’t show up much but is a lot of fun when she does. And new to the cast is David Thewlis, the film’s snarling heavy.

Image Courtesy of Netflix

As happens often in these kinds of movies, some aspects of the mystery are a tad too convenient, as some clues seem to fall right into Enola’s lap. And there’s a significant final act reveal that’s certainly ambitious but not as impactful as it wants to be. Those things aside, it’s hard not to be (once again) swept up in a playfully energetic Enola Holmes adventure. This well-oiled sequel has all the heart and humor of the first film, yet it’s also not afraid to dip its toes into some pretty weighty themes.

“Enola Holmes 2” might not be as light on its feet as its predecessor. But the snappy direction, the smart and witty script, a great supporting cast, and (most importantly) Millie Bobby Brown’s infectious presence make this a more than worthy follow-up. And best of all, it shows there’s plenty of mileage in this series if Netflix chooses to keep it going. So yes, the game is afoot…again. And I am completely onboard for more. “Enola Holmes 2” premieres November 4th on Netflix.


10 thoughts on “REVIEW: “Enola Holmes 2” (2022)

  1. Thanks for the review, I’m glad to see this one score so high. My entire family loved the first one and have looked forward to the second, hoping it would be as good, or at least almost as good. Sounds like it hit the mark.

  2. I cannot say how much I truly enjoyed this follow up. The cast was excellent and Cavill and Brown have genuine chemistry. Cavill is once again so good as Sherlock. The story moves at a good pace , has some great action sequences and it has heart . Brown anchors it with her wit,charm and she is truly emerging as a force . I had so much fun with these characters again that with the introduction of some new faces , I truly hope another adventure will be afoot in the future.

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